Resources for Understanding the Genetics of Autism

Resources for Understanding Autism Genetics

AllelesResources for Understanding the Genetics of Autism





Additional Resources:

Autism Genetics: Familial Linkage between Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Intellectual Interests

Autism Genetics Research:

Familial Linkage May Determine Intellectual Interests and Predisposition to Neuropsychiatric Disorders According to Study
Research Studies Correlation Between College Major Interest and Neuropsychiatric Disorders in the Context of Familial Linkage

Previous research suggests that brain function differences may largely be determined by genetics.  These differences in brain function may influence factors such as susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders.  The differences may also influence intellectual interests such as which college major to pursue.  A study attempted to determine the correlation between intellectual interests and neuropsychiatric disorders in the context of familial linkage.  The findings were published in an article titled Familial Linkage between Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Intellectual Interests.

The researchers surveyed 1313 students from an incoming freshman class at Princeton University.  Of the 1313 students surveyed, 1077 students completed the survey.  The survey focused on incidence of neuropsychiatric disorders within the family and also on prospective major.

The study found that students interested in engineering, math, and science were significantly more likely to have a sibling with autism.  On the other hand, students interested in pursuing a major in the humanities were significantly more likely to report that a member of their family has major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or issues with substance abuse.

The authors state that their research suggests that familial linkage may influence both the pursuit of specific intellectual interests and the predisposition to certain neuropsychiatric disorders.  However, they are also quick to point out that environmental factors may also play a role in intellectual interests and neuropsychiatric disorders.



Campbell, Benjamin C., and Samuel S.-H. Wang. “Familial Linkage between Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Intellectual Interests.” Ed. Andrew H. Kemp. PLoS ONE 7.1 (2012): e30405. Web. 30 Jan. 2012.

Additional Information:

List of Research for Familial Linkage and Autism

Familial Linkage & Autism

2012 Research

Familial Linkage between Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Intellectual Interests

  • A survey study
  • Included 1077 students from the Class of 2014 at Princeton University
  • Focused on the relationship between intended college major and family history of neuropsychiatric disorders

2000 Research

Adenosine Deaminase Alleles and Autistic Disorder: Case-Control and Family-Based Association Studies

  • A case-control study involving 152 control individuals and 91 autistic individuals
  • Focused on allozymes located on the ADA gene (ADA1 and ADA2)
  • Also researched familial linkage of the ADA2 allozyme and characteristics of individuals carrying the ADA2 allozyme (familial linkage study included 91 singleton families and 44 trio families)


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