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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 369–392 | Cite as

Autism: The Phenotype in Relatives

  • A. Bailey
  • S. Palferman
  • L. Heavey
  • A. Le Couteur
Article

Abstract

There is broad agreement that genetic influences are central in the development of idiopathic autism. Whether relatives manifest genetically related milder phenotypes, and if so how these relate to autism proper, has proved a more contentious issue. A review of the relevant studies indicates that relatives are sometimes affected by difficulties that appear conceptually related to autistic behaviors. These range in severity from pervasive developmental disorders to abnormalities in only one area of functioning, and possibly extend to related personality traits. Issues involved in clarifying the components of milder phenotypes and their relationship to autism are outlined.

Autism genetics relatives variable phenotypic expression 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Bailey
    • 1
  • S. Palferman
    • 1
  • L. Heavey
    • 1
  • A. Le Couteur
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical Research Council Child Psychiatry Unit and the SocialGenetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research CentreLondonUnited Kingdom. MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom
  2. 2.Academic Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryNewcastle-upon-TyneUnited Kingdom

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