Cognitive Deficits in Parents from Multiple-incidence Autism Families

Authors

  • Joseph Piven,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, U.S.A.
      Requests for reprints to: Joseph Piven, MD, 1875 John Pappajohn Pavilion, Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa 52242–1000, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Pat Palmer

    1. University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author

Requests for reprints to: Joseph Piven, MD, 1875 John Pappajohn Pavilion, Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa 52242–1000, U.S.A.

Abstract

This study compares parents of two autistic children with parents of a Down syndrome (DS) proband, on tests of intelligence, reading and spelling, and executive function. Autism parents performed significantly worse than DS parents on performance IQ, a test of executive function, and some reading measures (e.g. passage comprehension and rapid automatized naming). These results suggest that cognitive deficits may be an expression of the underlying genetic liability for autism and that these characteristics may contribute to a more broadly defined autism phenotype.

Ancillary