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Autism in Twins

"There is consistent evidence from twin and family studies implicating genetic factors in the etiology of autism (MIM 209850), but no specific genes associated with autism have yet been identified. In a recent article in the Journal, Greenberg et al. (2001) reported a striking excess of twin pairs, both MZ and DZ, in the cohort of families with at least two siblings with autism or autism-related conditions recruited by the Autism Resource Exchange (AGRE) of the Cure Autism Now (CAN) Foundation. The proportion of twins among autistic sib pairs (18%, 30/166) was significantly higher than the expected twinning rate per sib pair (2.4%). Greenberg et al. (2001) demonstrated that to ascribe this excess of twins with autism to a sampling bias would require very large ascertainment factors, which seem unlikely. These findings suggest that being a twin represents a risk factor for autism, and they have important implications for the etiology of autism. However, as Greenberg et al. (2001) pointed out, these results need to be replicated in other data sets. We report here a similar excess of twins in a sample of affected sib pairs recruited by the Paris Autism Research International Sibpair (PARIS) study....."

It seems that twins have a higher chance to being diagnosed with autism.

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