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Are autism spectrum disorders inherited?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, the scientific consensus is that autism spectrum disorders may be inherited, but scientists have not yet found the exact genes responsible, according to WebMD. Autism seems to run in families; however, there may be other non-hereditary causes of the disorder.

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Full Answer

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in children who have a sibling with the disorder is much higher than the prevalence in the general population. However, it is lower than the prevalence of most disorders caused by a single inherited gene, states PubMed. This suggests that autism spectrum disorders are inherited, but that multiple genes or a combination of genes and environment are responsible for the development of the disorder and the its severity.

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