Skip to main content

Why Autism Strikes More Boys than Girls

In recent years, research has ramped up to get to the bottom of the striking disparity between genders when it comes to the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ASD affects approximately four times as many boys as girls.

In one theory, the PTCHD1 gene on the X chromosome plays a pivotal role. PTCHD1 is a protein coding gene that helps to deliver information to cells during brain development. If it has mutated or is missing altogether, there is an elevated risk of autism or an intellectual disability.

Boys inherit one X chromosome from their mother and one Y chromosome from their father. Girls carry two X chromosomes. If one X chromosome carries a mutated PTCHD1 gene, or is missing it altogether, the second X chromosome provides backup, shielding a girl form ASD. However, the genetic abnormality can still be passed on to a future son.

Other research is examining the role that the brain cortex thickness has on the development of ASD. The cortex is the brain's outer layer that is host to nerves involved in memory, language, thinking, and other complex cognitive functions. Males tend to have thinner cortexes; women generally have thicker ones. One study found that the thinner the cortex, the more susceptible a person was to developing ASD. Women aren't invulnerable to ASD, since some women have thinner cortexes than normal- in other words, more male-like thickness.

The hope with the research is to find ways to diagnose ASD earlier, allowing behavioral therapies to commence sooner, and to let prospective parents know if either one of them carries a defective PTCHD1 gene that may result in autism


Popular posts from this blog

Your Rights When You're Pulled Over for a Supected DUI

Fact is, most people don't even know their rights if they're pulled over! Here's a quick list of the most important rights you need to know and how the conversation may go if you are pulled over:

"Do you know why I pulled you over?" It's typically the first thing you'll hear. It's also deliberately designed to get you to admit to certain behavior. Be polite and simply ask, "Why do you ask?" and then wait for a response. Do not comment. That phrase "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" is truer than you'll ever know, trust us.

"Have you had anything to drink tonight?" If you truthfully have had nothing to drink that night, say, "No." If you've had something to drink, you don't have to share that information! Telling the officer that you've been drinking will be evidence used against you. Instead, say, "I have no statement to make." While it may seem unnatura…

Questioned by the Police? - Don't Forget Your Rights

One of the special things about our country's criminal justice system is that if you are suspected or accused of committing a crime, you have certain fundamental rights. Unfortunately though, many people aren't aware of their rights, or, in the head of the moment, they forget about those rights.

For instance, citizens who find themselves being questioned and in police custody may not even be aware that they have a basic fundamental right to have an attorney present any time they are being questioned by any branch of law enforcement.

Truth is, having an attorney present if you are being quested is vitally important.

Why is that?

For one thing, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you from incriminating yourself, can make sure that you don't answer questions that are designed to trick you, and can keep officers from asking the same question over and over again. Bottom line - having a criminal defense attorney on your side can help make sure that you don't ma…

Auto Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are responsible for the deaths of approximately 50,000 Americans each year and the hospitalizations of roughly 230,000 more. Many more victims go undiagnosed.

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of TBI. Most TBI's are closed head injuries, which means that trauma sets the brain in motion inside the skull. The brain gets slammed against the interior surface of the skull, resulting in contusions and swelling. 
Trauma can also initiate rotational forces that twist and stretch the brain, which can damage axons. Brain neurons send messages via electrical impulses; axons are the carriers of these impulses. When axons are damaged, brain function is diminished. 
A condition called diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs on a cellular level and leaves blood vessels and major brain structures intact. This type of damage cannot be detected by MRIs or CT scans, making DAI vastly under diagnosed and under treated. 
Brain injuries are unlike injuries to other …