Genetics and Environmental Factors
Mathematicians are talented at systemising, a common trait in autism, and autism is more common among mathematicians than we might expect by chance. This study explores links between maths, autism and genes.
Mutation in NRXN1 is one of about 100 high confidence rare genetic variants that has been associated with autism, although it can cause a diverse range of conditions - or none at all. This study looks to understand this gene's actions.
Spectrum 10K is the largest study of autism in the UK and is a research study involving 10,000 autistic individuals of all ages and abilities, and their relatives, living in the UK. The study aims to investigate the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to autism and co-occurring physical and mental health conditions.
Synaesthesia appears more common in autistic people. We are working with the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands to identify and characterise genes that may make people more susceptible to developing synaesthesia.