Head circumferences in twins with and without autism spectrum disorders

Wendy Froehlich, Sue Cleveland, Andrea Torres, Jennifer Phillips, Brianne Cohen, Tiffany Torigoe, Janet Miller, Angie Fedele, Jack Collins, Karen Smith, Linda Lotspeich, Lisa A. Croen, Sally J Ozonoff, Clara Lajonchere, Judith K. Grether, Joachim Hallmayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To determine the genetic relationship between head circumference (HC) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Twin pairs with at least one twin with an ASD were assessed. HCs in affected and unaffected individuals were compared, as were HC correlations in monozygotic and dizygotic pairs. 404 subjects, ages 4-18, were included. 20 % of males and 27 % of females with an ASD had macrocephaly. Unaffected co-twins showed similar rates (16 % of males and 22 % of females). Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in HCs between affected and unaffected twins. Twins with ASDs and unaffected co-twins have similar HCs and increased rates of macrocephaly. Correlations demonstrated partial inheritance of HCs. Thus, macrocephaly may represent an endophenotype in ASDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2026-2037
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Endophenotype
  • Genetics
  • Head circumference
  • Macrocephaly
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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