Scientific study has identified a link between high levels of androgen hormone or testosterone in infants still in the womb and autistic characteristics in kids. Infants subjected to high levels of the sex hormone testosterone in the womb seem to be at higher risk for these autistic traits.
While the scientists are cautious to note that even though they can't prove testosterone exposure in the womb leads to Aspergers, they firmly believe it might eventually be implicated as one of the primary factors associated with Aspergers.
The concept that fetal testosterone might play a causal role in Aspergers is a current hypothesis. There is no proof that it is a causal factor, however this research is undoubtedly in keeping with that hypothesis.
The research followed 235 moms and their kids over 8 years. At the onset of the research, the mothers had an amniocentesis, a normal womb examination during pregnancy which identified testosterone levels present. The kids were closely monitored during the subsequent 8 years and examined for autistic-like behavior at regular time periods throughout their development.
Scientists discovered that high amounts of testosterone within the amniotic fluid of the womb were noticeably linked with autistic-like behavior. Hormones inside the amniotic fluid are a product of the newborn, not the newborn's mom. Scientists do not know if the fetal testosterone causes the autistic qualities or is a by-product of them.
Aspergers and Autism-related disorders tend to be characterized by complications in socializing with others, even family members. They might also be much less empathetic and usually exhibit less emotional reactions than kids without the condition. Individuals with Aspergers or autistic-related disorders occasionally are intrigued with numbers and logical systems of order.
Kids with Aspergers appeared to have an exaggeration of the standard male profile because they possess a strong interest in systems (e.g., numbers), but have difficulty with empathy.
Baron Cohen is a leader in the “extreme male brain” concept. This theory shows that Aspergers is at one end of a spectrum of social behaviors more typical of males than females.
The extreme male brain theory was initially created at a psychological level. Kids with Aspergers appear to have an exaggerated male profile. Now we are moving from the psychological level to the biological level.
The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook