Autism Begins In The Womb Now What
April is National Autism Month and there is a lot of talk about the status of the science surrounding this epidemic condition in America today. Scientists are now reporting that autism can be diagnosed in the womb through amniocentesis. Clearly there is a lot of controversy that goes along with this option. Although scientists are hoping that steps can be taken to somehow rewire the brainin utero, I cant help but wonder if the rate of abortions will skyrocket if autism can be detected prior to birth.
The idea that autism can be detected in the womb sure sheds light on the situation. Its about time. After all, how can you blame things like immunizations or gluten before your child is exposed to these things on their own? Hmm Sounds like it might be time to dig a little deeper for some answers.
There are very telling recommendations that can be found in the National Institute of Health study entitled Reducing Environmental Cancer RiskWhat We Can Do Now provided to the White House in 2009. Dont let the title of the report fool you! This report focuses on the environmental impact that our lifestyle is having on our health in general and over and over again throughout this study we are warned that children are at greatest risk of environmental damage. Recommendations provided on page 111 include two red flags.
CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD LOOKS AT WATER
ONE LIFE AT A TIME!
Preventing Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
Foetal alcohol syndrome is completely avoidable if you do not drink alcohol while you’re pregnant.
The risk is higher the more you drink, although there’s no proven “safe” level of alcohol in pregnancy. Not drinking at all is the safest approach.
If you’re pregnant and struggling with an alcohol problem, talk to a midwife, doctor or pharmacist.
It’s never too late to stop drinking: stopping at any point during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of problems in your baby.
Confidential help and support is also available from:
- Drinkline the national alcohol helpline if you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, call this free helpline on 0300 123 1110
- We Are With You a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities manage the effects of alcohol and drug misuse
- Alcoholics Anonymous a free self-help group its “12-step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups
- NOFAS-UK helpline on 020 8458 5951
Page last reviewed: 06 January 2020 Next review due: 06 January 2023
What Are The Characteristics
Often sufferers will have physical or sensory repetitive behaviours, difficulty making eye contact and talking to people or touching them, and difficulty picking up on other peoples feelings and cues. They may have anintellectual impairment or learning difficulties, although at times they can also be incredibly intelligent and gifted.
They may be unable to cope with noises like hair dryers or vacuum cleaners, unable to walk on certain surfaces, or uncomfortable with enclosed spaces.
Some children on the high functioning end of the spectrum can be schooled at regular schools with limited assistance , or those on the more severe or low functioning end may go to autistic specialist schools, where classes might be five students to one or two teachers.
An estimated 1 in 100 people has ASD.
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Can Dwarfism Be Diagnosed During Pregnancy
This week the Disability Living blog is writing about dwarfism, also known as short stature or skeletal dysplasia. Disability Living routinely blogs about issues that are relevant to Canadas disability community, and dwarfism is one such subject. Are you curious about dwarfism? Read on to discover whether or not dwarfism can be diagnosed during pregnancy.
Key Points About Birth Defects In Children
A birth defect is a health problem or abnormal physical change that is present when a baby is born. Birth defects range from very mild to life-threatening and limiting.
Birth defects can happen for many reasons. But often the cause isnt known.
Many birth defects can be diagnosed before birth with tests. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about testing.
The risk for birth defects varies by type of defect, family health history, age of parents, and other factors. Your provider can tell you more about your risk of having a child with a birth defect.
There is no cure for birth defects. But children can often be treated to help reduce problems.
Researchers are trying to find ways to prevent many birth defects. Not all birth defects can be prevented. Taking steps to be healthy before and during pregnancy is important.
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What Causes Birth Defects In A Child
When a baby is born with a birth defect, the first question often asked by the parents is “How did this happen?” Sometimes this question cant be answered. This can be very upsetting for parents.. Its normal to want to know why your baby has a health problem.
Birth defects can happen for many reasons. They can happen because of the mothers exposure to certain things while she is pregnant. Or they can happen because of certain genes or changes in genes . It could also be a combination of these things. But often the cause isnt known.
The different causes of birth defects include:
How Parents Can Spot The Warning Signs
As a parent, youre in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism. You know your child better than anyone and observe behaviors and quirks that a pediatrician, in a quick fifteen-minute visit, might not have the chance to see. Your childs pediatrician can be a valuable partner, but dont discount the importance of your own observations and experience. The key is to educate yourself so you know whats typical and whats not.
Monitor your childs development. Autism involves a variety of developmental delays, so keeping a close eye on whenor ifyour child is hitting the key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones is an effective way to spot the problem early on. While developmental delays dont automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.
Take action if youre concerned. Every child develops at a different pace, so you dont need to panic if your child is a little late to talk or walk. When it comes to healthy development, theres a wide range of typical. But if your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or you suspect a problem, share your concerns with your childs doctor immediately. Dont wait.
Regression of any kind is a serious autism warning sign
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Signs Of Social Difficulties
- Appears disinterested or unaware of other people or whats going on around them.
- Doesnt know how to connect with others, play, or make friends.
- Prefers not to be touched, held, or cuddled.
- Doesnt play pretend games, engage in group games, imitate others, or use toys in creative ways.
- Has trouble understanding feelings or talking about them.
- Doesnt seem to hear when others talk to them.
- Doesnt share interests or achievements with others .
Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorder. Many kids on the autism spectrum seem to prefer to live in their own world, aloof and detached from others.
Offspring Of Mothers With The Ptenwt/m3m4 Genotype Show Increased Asd
To interrogate the impact of maternal genetics on the incidence and severity of an ASD-like phenotype in the offspring, PtenWT/m3m4 females were bred to PtenWT/WT males or PtenWT/WT females were bred to PtenWT/m3m4 males to compare pups of a heterozygous mutant mother vs. pups of a homozygous wildtype mother . Average litter sizes from PtenWT/WT females X PtenWT/m3m4 males and PtenWT/m3m4 females X PtenWT/WT males were similar. In contrast, a significant decrease in litter size was observed when PtenWT/m3m4 females X PtenWT/m3m4 males, most likely due to 100% loss of Ptenm3m4/m3m4 homozygous mutant fetuses in-utero around E15.5. For this reason, PtenWT/m3m4 female X PtenWT/m3m4 male crosses were not compared further in the study for the maternal inflammatory state, due to additional inflammatory insults from resorption of homozygous mutant fetuses in-utero. The number of PtenWT/WT and PtenWT/m3m4 pups born were as expected per Mendelian ratios indicating no genotype preference or in-utero mortality differences between the two maternal or offspring genotypes . However, postnatally, PtenWT/m3m4 mothers lost more pups between P0 and P8. Litters of Momsm3m4 had postnatal mortality of 2024% of their pups in 5667% of all litters compared to only 4% pup death in 29% of litters from MomWT .
Fig. 1: Pups of PtenWT/m3m4 mothers have higher postnatal mortality, macrocephaly, and ASD-like behavior compared to PtenWT/WT mothers.
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How Does Your Health Come Into Play
Researchers know that maternal health during pregnancy has an impact on the unborn child, and ASD is certainly no exception to this rule. “For instance, women who are severely ill and require hospitalization during pregnancy may be more likely to have children who develop autism,” says Dr. Wang. Specifically, studies have shown associations between maternal infections during pregnancy and subsequent risk for their children developing an autism spectrum disorder.
In general, women should do what they can to remain healthy during pregnancy. “This includes optimizing nutrition, taking prenatal vitamins as recommended by their obstetrician, avoiding exposure to unnecessary drugs and medications, and ensuring that their own vaccinations are up to date,” says Dr. Wang. Also, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that gestational diabetes developed by 26 weeks is linked with an increased risk to ASD. Ask your doctor about the right plan for you and then stick with it.
Fetusm3m4 From Momm3m4 Show Increased Breakdown Of The Bloodbrainbarrier Compared To Fetusm3m4 From Momwt
We next investigated the differential impact of maternal genetics on the developing fetal brain. Significantly decreased expression of markers of the bloodbrainbarrier , namely, glucose transporter 1 and endothelial cell integrity, i.e., platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule was observed in Momm3m4Fetusm3m4 compared to MomWTFetusm3m4 . Decreased CD31 expression was not a result of reduced angiogenesis in Momm3m4Fetusm3m4 as evident by equal expression of CD31 in extra central nervous system tissue . Significantly increased albumin leakage was seen in perivascular spaces in the brain of Momm3m4Fetusm3m4 indicating a break-down of the BBB in-utero at E17.5 . In contrast to the decrease in expression of C4b transcripts in the liver , the brain of Momm3m4Fetusm3m4 showed increased C4 deposits in blood vessels as well as the brain parenchyma . Complement C3 deposits however were not different between Momm3m4Fetusm3m4 and MomWTFetusm3m4 .
Fig. 3: Breakdown of the bloodbrainbarrier in fetuses undergoing gestation in Momm3m4.
Collectively, these data show that maternal genetic contributions that promote a lack of immunosuppression during pregnancy can lead to a breakdown of the BBB in the fetus.
Being Able To Screen For Autism Is Problematic For A Number Of Reasons
Firstly, autism is a spectrum, and the question arises, at what point on the spectrum is considered the point where you would terminate the pregnancy? If testing only showed that your child was likely to be on the autistic spectrum, but if later you found out it was at the very high functioning end, would or should you not terminate?
What happens when we remove autistic people from the world? While parents and teachers raising children with autism might see some relief in the daily difficulties of this, people with autism are individuals with worth, personality and love who have a place to play in the world.
Some people with autism may have had the most incredible impact on science, art and society, including possibly Einstein, Mozart, Michelangelo, Darwin, Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, Andy Warhol and Stanley Kubrick.
More significant in recent times, it is speculated that both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could be identified as on the autism spectrum. While these are speculative guesses only, it is without a doubt that autistic people have lived and positively affected others lives throughout time.
Can Folic Acid Lower Autism Risk
A 2011 Epidemiology study found that taking prenatal vitamins three months before conception and during at least the first month of pregnancy halves a child’s autism risk. Women with a strong genetic link to the disorder who didn’t take vitamins were up to seven times more likely to have a child with autism. Additional studies suggest high levels of folic acid, a B vitamin important for brain development, are key.
All women of childbearing age should get between 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day. Most women get about 150 mcg of daily folic acid from fortified foods such as breads and cereal.
A 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study suggests that women need at least four times that amount — 600 mcg — to lower autism risk. Check your vitamin’s nutrient label, and if necessary, discuss upping your folic acid intake with your doctor, and add more foods rich in folate to your diet.
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Prenatal Test For Autism
Prenatal genetic testing for autism spectrum disorders are clinically available in countries like the US and Taiwan. A study titled Autism Spectrum Disorders: Prenatal Genetic Testing and Abortion Decision-Making among Taiwanese Mothers of Affected Children of Taiwanese mothers suggests about two-thirds of participants would undergo prenatal genetic testing for autism and more than half would terminate a pregnancy showing signs of autism.
One can imagine the other half, choosing not to terminate the hypothetical pregnancy, were plagued with questoins and uncertainty. If and whenand scientists believe this is in the near futurereliable screening for autism becomes available, will these tests become routine? Online forums spell out the moral wrestling of ending a pregnancy after genetic testing finds fetal abnormalities. If a prenatal test for autism becomes routine, how will women deal with finding out their fetus could be on the spectrum?
What Are The Contributing Factors To Autism
Some deem it offensive to speak of high risk factors when it comes to autism. Many autistic adults express pride in who they are despite difficulties of living in a neurotypical world, they celebrate their unique talents and differently wired brains. These are mostly high functioning individuals who are successful, with fulfilling lives. Perhaps referring to factors that may contribute to an individual being diagnosed with autism, or factors raising probability are more appropriate terms to use.
So what raises the probability of having an autistic child? Despite years of research, a specific cause of autism has not been determined and there is much debate. Instead research suggests that a number of influences may elevate the chance that an individual may be on the spectrum. These influences include mostly genetic but also environmental factors.
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Reducing Exposure To Toxins
The scientific community has discovered evidence that environmental factors often play a role in developing autism. One Harvard study found that children born to mothers exposed to high pollution levels had twice the risk of ASD. Pregnant women can limit airborne toxins by wearing masks, filling their gas tank after dark, and staying indoors when air quality is low. Its best to avoid areas with high traffic, especially when exercising. For the duration of pregnancy, women should eliminate alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Switching to green personal care products is wise to lessen exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Some doctors also suggest avoiding canned foods, plastic water bottles, and excessive cell phone use.
Does The Mother Or Father Cause Autism
Clues to the first two questions come from studies that have shown that at least 30% of individuals with autism have spontaneous de novo mutations that occurred in the fathers sperm or mothers egg and disrupt genes important for brain development, these spontaneous mutations likely cause autism in families where
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Delayed Language Or Speech
Research shows that young autistic children often say and understand fewer words than children with nonautistic development at 12 months. If a child isnt saying single words by 16 months or isnt using two-word phrases by age 2, its a good idea to talk with a pediatrician.
The says language development could be uneven, with exceptional language development in some areas and impairment in other areas.
Can Autism Be Detected During Pregnancy
It was revealed by the University of Cambridge Autism Center that 235 children were followed up at the age of 8 years of age and that these children were found to have characteristics of autism, such as lack of socialization, speech difficulty, and high testosterone in amniotic fluid as a consequence of Can autism be detected during pregnancy question?
Scientists are now suggesting that this issue be created at the national level and then ethically assessed, allowing for the widespread implementation of the autism test if it is ultimately ethical and allowing abortion in cases where there is a risk of autism. In other words, Can autism be detected during pregnancy question is about to vanish but leads other problems.
According to scientists, the process of autism testing may be possible by amniocentesis, which allows detection of down syndrome during pregnancy.
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Can Anxiety Cause Autism
Anxiety is not considered a core feature of autism spectrum disorder in adults, but generalized anxiety disorder is autisms most common comorbid condition. Accurately diagnosing and treating anxiety is crucial since it greatly impacts core aspects of ASD, such as repetitive behaviors and social issues.
What To Do If You Think Your Child Has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
Speak to a GP or health visitor if you have any concerns about your child’s development or think they could have foetal alcohol syndrome.
If the condition is not diagnosed early on and a child does not receive appropriate support, they’re more likely to experience challenges associated with the condition.
A doctor or health visitor will need to know if your child was exposed to alcohol during pregnancy to make a diagnosis of foetal alcohol syndrome.
Your child may be referred to a specialist team for an assessment if there’s a possibility they have the condition.
This usually involves a physical examination and blood tests to rule out genetic conditions that have similar symptoms to foetal alcohol syndrome.