CHICAGO – There's new evidence that genetics plays a role in autism.
A new study finds that men who become fathers in their 40s or older are much more likely to have autistic children.
The research in the Archives of General Psychiatry involved about 130-thousand Israeli Jews born in the 1980s. Those who were fathered by older men were almost six times more likely to have autism or related disorders than were those fathered by men younger than 30.
As for the age of the mothers — that didn't appear to have much impact on autism, although the researchers said they couldn't rule out a "possible small effect" from the oldest mothers.
Autism experts say the study is intriguing, but not definitive.
And the authors say they'd need to test the results in a broader population to see if the findings hold up.