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Molecular Autism

, 1:10

First Online: 17 June 2010Received: 05 February 2010Accepted: 17 June 2010

Abstract

BackgroundThe Autism Spectrum Quotient AQ is a self-report questionnaire for quantifying autistic traits. This study tests whether the AQ can differentiate between parents of children with an autism spectrum condition ASC and control parents. In this paper, the use of the AQ to define the broader, medium and narrow autism phenotypes BAP, MAP, NAP is reported, and the proportion of parents with each phenotype is compared between the two groups.

MethodsA sample of 571 fathers and 1429 mothers of children with an ASC completed the AQ, along with 349 fathers and 658 mothers of developing typically children.

ResultsBoth mothers and fathers of the diagnosed children scored higher than the control parents on total AQ score and on four out of five of the subscales. Additionally, there were more parents of diagnosed children with a BAP, MAP or NAP.

ConclusionsThe AQ provides an efficient method for quantifying where an individual lies along the dimension of autistic traits, and extends the notion of a broader phenotype among first-degree relatives of those with ASC. The AQ is likely to have many applications, including population and clinical screening, and stratification in genetic studies.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-2040-2392-1-10 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Sally Wheelwright - Bonnie Auyeung - Carrie Allison - Simon Baron-Cohen

Source: https://link.springer.com/



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