Project: Research project

Project Details


The present study will examine familial aggregation patterns of several
prominent deficits seen in autistic individuals. The aim of the study is
to identify behavioral markers more proximal to the underlying gene(s)
involved in autism than the clinical syndrome itself. recent research
indicates that autism is familial, occurring more frequently in families
of autistic children than in the general population. The familial
recurrence risk of impairments more general than autism itself is even
higher. Several studies have reported an increased rate of cognitive and
linguistic deficits in siblings of autistic children However, these
results may reflect a heritable component of mental retardation that is
largely independent of autism. Indeed, when family data is stratified by
IQ of the proband, familial clustering of cognitive impairment occurs
only in families of retarded autistic children. It is not clear what
deficit, if any, aggregates in the families of nonretarded autistic
individuals. The family risk study presented here will examine cognitive, linguistic
and social abilities in the siblings of autistic probands and the
siblings of controls matched on age, sex, SES, ethnicity and Verbal and
Performance IQ. This design will allow on examination of what might be
inherited in autism when the potentially confounding effects of
retardation are controlled. When the groups are matched on IQ, it is
hypothesized that the rate of cognitive and linguistic abnormalities will
be equivalent in the two groups, while the rate of social deficits will
be elevated in the siblings of children with autism, but not in the
siblings of controls.
Effective start/end date9/30/898/31/91


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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