Tags: Autism | autism | child | prodigies | link | gene

Child Prodigies and Autism: Is There a Genetic Link?

By    |   Monday, 04 May 2015 03:47 PM

Turns out there maybe something to that old phrase suggesting only a fine line separates madness from genius. New research suggests child prodigies share certain genetic traits with people who have autism.

The findings, by Ohio State University researchers, points to common neurological traits that may explain characteristics shared by both groups, such as exceptionally good memories and extraordinary attention to detail, Live Science reports.

For the study, researchers looked at DNA from 12 children with extraordinary abilities in music, mathematics, or other fields, and compared them to those of 39 other family members — including relatives who had autism.

The researchers found there were genetic markers on chromosome 1 that were shared between the prodigies and their relatives with autism, although they have yet to find the specific mutations involved.

Researcher Joanne Ruthsatz, an assistant professor of psychology at OSU, said the similarities in the two groups were striking.

David Henry Feldman, a child d development specialists at Tufts University, agreed, telling Live Science in an email, "On the behavioral side, there seems to be a correlation between prodigies and autistic children that is hard to ignore."

Among the prodigies included in the study was a musical who played an entire DVD of classical music by ear at age 3, then earned a spot on a symphony by age 6.

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Child prodigies share certain genetic traits with people who have autism, according to new research.
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Monday, 04 May 2015 03:47 PM
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