What have we learned from recent twin studies about the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders?

Daniëlle Posthuma, TJC Polderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose of review The relative influence of genes and environment on the liability to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) can be investigated using a twin design. This review highlights the results of the most recent twin studies of NDDs. Recent findings Recent twin studies have confirmed that NDDs show moderate-to-high heritability, and that from an etiological viewpoint both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are best regarded as the extremes on a continuous liability distribution. Both ASD and ADHD show high heritability in childhood and a substantial drop in heritability in adulthood, which is likely explained by the use of different assessment strategies in childhood versus adulthood, or by a Summary The findings of twin studies implicate substantial heritability of NDDs, and warrant large-scale molecular genetic studies for such traits.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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