September 7, 2015

genderA new study by the prestigious Stanford University School of Medicine has found that girls on the autism spectrum displayed much lesser restricted and repetitive behaviors compared to boys. In fact, the study found structural differences in the brain tissues of girls and boys that take a step forth in explaining these clinical differences of autism manifestations too.

The study was published last week in the journal Molecular Autism and led by Kaustubh Supekar. Kaustubh along with Vinod Menon wanted to study which specific symptoms differed in the two sexes in autism and if grey matter patterns could explain these differences. The results could help physicians better diagnose and treat autism.

The duo analyzed 800 children with high-functioning autism in US and found that boys outnumbered girls, 4 is to 1 on the high functioning aspect. Researchers found motor component to repetitive movements like hand flapping etc. for the first time giving evidence to back gender differences in autistic behaviors.

Ultimately, the authors say their work suggests a potential reason why there’s a low proportion of females diagnosed with autism.

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  • Interesting perspective. You rightly point out that girls will less repetitive behavior may get misdiagnosed, and this could lead to repercussions later in their lives.

    We need more diagnostic tools which rely on scientific data than observation since the latter could be a hit-or-miss diagnosis.

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