Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental health conditions in which children experience difficulties with social communication and behaviour from birth. The causes for ASD are still unclear.

The aims of this study are to identify possible brain markers that may be linked with the development of ASD. Since identical twins have the same genes, differences in the brain within twin pairs are likely to be linked with environmental or non-genetic factors that are unique to either twin. We are interested in whether these differences in the brain are also linked to differences in autism diagnosis (i.e. only one sibling in a twin pair has autism). Investigating similarities and differences in the brains of identical twins will help us to better understand ASD, perhaps even improve the ability to detect or manage these difficulties.

What is involved?

This project involves an appointment at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, which may take 3 to 4 hours in total. All participants will also receive a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. Where zygosity status is unknown, a cheek swab may be collected to confirm monozygosity.

Who is eligible?

Identical twin pairs, aged 5-18 years living in Melbourne, where one or both twins have a primary diagnosis of ASD are eligible to participate. If you would like to be involved, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


May 2017 - Ongoing.

Twins Research Australia

Address: 3/207 Bouverie St
Carlton, Vic 3010

Freecall: 1800 037 021


ABN: 84 002 705 224

Twins Research Australia is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and housed within the University of Melbourne.

Privacy Policy


Follow or ‘like’ us