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What causes Asperger syndrome?

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The symptoms of Asperger syndrome, a mild type of autism spectrum disorder, result from brain changes, but as of 2015 the exact cause of these changes is not clear, reports Healthline. Factors that increase a person's risk of developing the disorder include genetics and toxins from the surroundings, such as chemicals and viruses.

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Most patients with Asperger syndrome perform repetitive behaviors, find it hard to interact with others, think rigidly and adhere to fixed routines, notes Healthline. Symptoms differ among patients, but a compulsive focus on a particular interest is common. This causes one-sided conversations in which Asperger syndrome sufferers are unaware when others attempt change topics. Patients typically talk in a monotone voice, cannot read facial expressions or body language, and cannot identify people's emotions.

Boys have higher chances of developing the condition than girls, states Healthline. Diagnosis involves assessing language development, social skills, facial expressions and interaction behaviors. Doctors also evaluate motor skills, motor coordination and the ability to adapt to change.

Those with high-functioning autism do not have poor language skills or delayed cognitive development as do most patients with autism spectrum disorders, and they have normal or above-average intelligence, explains Healthline. While Asperger syndrome has no cure, early diagnosis and treatment generally improve social skills and productivity.

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