Starting Prenatal Vitamins Even Before Pregnancy May Cut Risk
High-risk younger siblings of children with autism are less likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder , have significantly lower autism symptom severity, and higher cognitive scores if their mothers take maternal prenatal vitamins during their first month of pregnancy, UC Davis research has found.
The study appearing today in JAMA Psychiatry reports for the first time that maternal prenatal vitamin supplementation use near conception is associated with decreased autism risk in subsequent siblings of children with ASD.
Autism is a growing concern, with one in every 59 children affected in the U.S. Younger siblings of children with ASD are about 13 times more likely to develop the disorder than the general population, with a recurrence risk of nearly one in five.
The study findings could be important for families who have children with autism and are planning new pregnancies. If replicated, the study results imply that genetic susceptibility could potentially be overcome by taking prenatal multivitamins.
What Causes Autism During Pregnancy
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. tend to have problems with social interaction and communication and is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome.
Researchers have not yet found a particular cause of ASD.
ASD can be caused due to some genetic issues or environmental problems or may be due to the combination of both that affects 1 out of 68 children.
If you need more information or you have a question regarding Autism During Pregnancy, you can discuss it with our HearingSol healthcare professionals, just give us a call on +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.
It has estimated that about 1 in every 100 people in the UK has ASD. More boys have diagnosed with the condition than girls.
In pregnant women, it can either cause before birth or during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Researchers have found that there are some differences in the brain structure of autism affected children as compared to those who do not have Autism. so, be aware of the conditions which cause Autism during pregnancy.
Tips To Prevent Autism During Pregnancy
As I mentioned earlier, our diet during pregnancy has a big impact on our babys environment during pregnancy, so lets look at some dietary tips that current research suggests may help in preventing autism during pregnancy.
Eat an antioxidant-rich diet by including plenty of fruit and vegetables each day. A recent Canadian study found that mothers who had more exposure to nitric oxide from traffic pollution during pregnancy had a high risk of having a baby with an Autism spectrum disorder. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals from environmental toxins. The best source of antioxidants is vegetables. Its wise to consume a variety of different colored vegetables during pregnancy to receive a range of different antioxidants.
A range of different antioxidants from different vegetables will help to diffuse free radicals and hopefully minimize the risks of conditions caused by environmental toxins.
Ensure adequate Omega 3 intake during pregnancy. Omega 3 is essential for our babys brain development during pregnancy, and it also plays an important role in minimizing inflammation, so research suggests that omega 3 rich foods, such as fish and eggs, may play an important role in fighting infections during pregnancy which could have otherwise increased the risk of autism.
Some people believe that mercury, which can also be found in fish, can also increase the risk of autism, so make sure that you choose low mercury, high omega 3 fish.
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Can Folic Acid Prevent Autism
A new study suggests taking multivitamins with folic acid before and during pregnancy may lower autism risks.
If you needed more reasons to be sure to take your prenatal vitamin, heres another: Getting enough folic acid may help to prevent autism spectrum disorder in your child. A recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found a link between the use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements by women before and during pregnancy, and a lower likelihood of ASD in their children.
The link between folic acid and the brain
The study followed over 45,000 Israeli children born between 2003 and 2007 from birth to 2015. At the end of the study period, 572 children had received an autism diagnosis. After looking at which moms took folic acid and/or multivitamins during pregnancy, the researchers found those who did had a 73 percent lower chance of their child having ASD. Taking the supplements before pregnancy was also effective in reducing risk.
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The results of this study are quite significant, Mary Jane Minkin, MD, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yale University, who was not involved in the study, tells Parents.com. This recent Israeli paper confirms some previous data showing the reduction in risk of developing autism with folic acid supplementation.
Avoid casting blame on moms
Is There A Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism
An April 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mothers-to-be who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes by their 26th week of pregnancy are 63 percent more likely to have a child with autism. That means for every 1,000 women with gestational diabetes, seven of them may have a child with autism. Researchers speculate that in utero exposure to high blood sugar may affect a babys brain development and heighten the risk for developmental disorders.
Earlier studies also have shown a possible connection between high blood sugar during pregnancy and autism risk. The key factor may be how high blood sugar levels get. Interestingly, the JAMA study found that babies born to mothers who had type 2 diabetes before getting pregnant didnt have a higher risk of autism, perhaps because the women were taking medication to control their blood sugar levels.
Gestational diabetes poses a number of problems for infants, including preterm labor, large birth-weight and an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Moms-to-be have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, preeclampsia and type 2 diabetes, as well. All expectant women should strive to keep their blood sugar under control, regardless of these study findings, says Dr. Wilms Floet.
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Can An Epidural Increase Autism Risk
A 2014 French study conducted on mice and published in the journal Science suggests that the use of spinal anesthesia during labor results in higher concentrations of chloride or salt in the brains of newborn mice. The authors hypothesize that this may increase the risk of autism in humans.
High chloride levels are essential to a baby’s brain development while in utero. During labor and delivery, a baby is exposed to oxytocin, the hormone that brings on contractions. Oxytocin acts as a diuretic and naturally lowers an infant’s chloride levels. Researchers believe epidurals may interfere with the release of oxytocin causing chloride levels to remain high after birth.
The study seems to support earlier findings from a 2012 clinical trial of 60 children with autism who saw some improvements in their behaviors after taking a diuretic that lowered their chloride levels. However, the Science study on epidurals and chloride was conducted solely on mice. While animal studies are important, the findings don’t always translate to people.
“For one thing, animals don’t have symptoms of autism in the same way that people do,” says Susan Hyman, M.D., division chief of neurodevelopmental and behavioral pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council of Children with Disabilities Autism Subcommittee.
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What Can Be Done To Prevent Autism
Although theres currently no cure, studies have found that certain actions can help pregnant women prevent autism. Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disability that causes significant development delays, especially in social functioning. According to Autism Speaks, one in 45 children in the United States have been diagnosed with autism. New mothers should take preventative steps to increase their chances of delivering a healthy baby. Research in the New England Journal of Medicine found that disparities in brain development begin as early as the second trimester for autistic children. Starting at conception, the following tips can help expectant mothers prevent autism in their growing fetus.
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What To Do If Youre Worried
If your child is developmentally delayed, or if youve observed other red flags for autism, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician right away. In fact, its a good idea to have your child screened by a doctor even if he or she is hitting the developmental milestones on schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age.
Schedule an autism screening. A number of specialized screening tools have been developed to identify children at risk for autism. Most of these screening tools are quick and straightforward, consisting of yes-or-no questions or a checklist of symptoms. Your pediatrician should also get your feedback regarding your childs behavior.
Staying In Good Health
Regular check-ups with a family physician and obstetrician are important. Maternal health throughout pregnancy has a significant impact on unborn children. Mothers should be immunized against German measles and get an influenza shot. Research at the MIND Institute found that viral infections can interfere with the babys brain cells and alter neural connections. Taking all precautions to avoid gestational diabetes can help lower the risk for autism. If possible, pregnant women should avoid prescriptions, especially antidepressants, with medical supervision. Having a dentist remove mercury-based amalgam fillings before conception could be beneficial. Babies neurological function is naturally enhanced by passing through the birth canal, so avoiding unnecessary Cesarean sections can help.
Autism is a complex disorder without a single known cause or trigger. Scientists agree that genetics is responsible for up to 90 percent of the autism risk. Whether a child develops ASD is usually out of the parents control. However, a study in the Molecular Psychiatry journal found that autism rates are 15 percent higher in children born to mothers in their 40s and 66 percent higher for fathers over 50. Births spaced two to five years apart are typically healthiest. Good pregnancy planning and the above health-conscious steps can effectively help expecting women prevent autism.
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Increase: Opening The Medicine Bottle
Another way to increase the risk of autism is by consuming certain medications while expecting. It is advised that momma stops taking any medications that can potentially harm the fetus. Of course in some cases the benefits of certain medications can outweigh the risk for mom and baby. There are medications that have suspected links to autism such as certain antidepressants and drugs used in labor. More studies on this topic need to be done, but staying clear of medications can help make sure baby stays clear of developing autism. Pregnant woman who have seizures during pregnancy may be given a medication called Valporic Acid which can be linked to autism as well. Misoprostol which is a medication used for gastric ulcers and Thalidomide used to treat morning sickness have also been known to cause autism in babies as well.
Whats The Outlook For Autistic Children
Autism is a spectrum of neurological differences that develop during childhood.
Although there is not a cure for autism, many in the autism community believe these neurological differences dont need to be cured. Theyre just a different way of communicating and interacting with the world.
Decades of research have shown that early intervention can have a powerful effect on health outcomes for autistic children. When therapies begin in early childhood, autistic children benefit from the incredible adaptability of their growing brain and nervous system.
Some signs of autism can appear during infancy, such as:
- limited eye contact
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Collection Storage Of Blood Serum Samples
The serum samples used in this study were obtained from the Northern Sweden Maternity Cohort founded in 1975 . The serum samples were routinely collected for testing of systemic infections and rubella IgG antibody titers at the first midwife visit at one of the more than 30 primary health care centers in Västerbotten County. The time point of the first visit is at the discretion of the patients and occurs in most cases between weeks 7 and 18 centering around week 14 . As we did not have access to the exact gestational age at blood sampling, we assigned all patients to week 14 . Samples were exposed to room temperature and initial storage in refrigerators at 4 °C at the primary care centers for variable periods and periodically shipped, frozen, to a central repository at Umeå University Hospital, where they are analyzed and the leftovers were stored at 20 °C .
Decrease: Beware Of Chemicals
Maternal exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy seems to increase the risk for ASD. A way mama can eliminate the risk is to avoid certain chemicals. Limiting the intake of processed/prepackaged/ and canned foods, avoiding water bottles made of plastic or aluminum, and steering clear of personal care products that contain fragrance as an ingredient may be beneficial. Avoiding or limiting use of certain household cleaning products and weed killers absolutely cannot hurt as well. Of course, it is impossible to avoid every chemical. There needs to be much further research done on additional chemicals and the correlation to autism, but to be safe, avoiding as much as you can cannot hurt. Avoiding toxic chemicals can be very helpful in the mission to avoid autism.
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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.
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Start Prenatal Vitamins When You Expect To Be Expecting
The study found that most mothers reported taking a prenatal vitamin at some point during pregnancy however, only 34 percent took them before pregnancy, as recommended. Mothers who took prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy were more educated and more likely to own their homes, have private health insurance and have had an intentional pregnancy than mothers who did not take prenatal vitamins during the pre-pregnancy period. The analysis took account of all these factors.
Participants were recruited from families participating in MARBLES , a prospective pregnancy cohort study of younger siblings of children with autism and receiving services from the California Department of Developmental Services. They included mothers who have a child with confirmed ASD and are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant with another child. The study looked at the younger siblings at high risk for autism born between 2006 and 2015 and who received a diagnosis at age 3.
Findings from this study emphasize the importance of taking prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, starting the first month of pregnancy to reduce the recurrence risk of ASD. Many families of children with autism were avoiding folic acid supplementation during their second pregnancies because of inaccurate online reports that it could cause autism.
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Should You Space Out Your Pregnancies
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that pregnancies spaced between 2 and 5 years apart have the lowest risk of a child developing autism. Researchers found that those children conceived after less than 12 months were 50 percent more likely to end up with a diagnosis as compared with children conceived between that 2-and-5-year time frame, though it’s unclear why.
Meanwhile, those conceived after more than 60 months were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed. However, keep in mind that autism risk increases with both parents’ ages at conception and that a woman’s fertility declines as she gets older. When it comes to timing, work with your doctor to determine the best plan for you and your family.
Increase: Running A Fever
No one enjoys being sick, and when pregnant it can be much worse than just feeling extra under the weather. Running a fever when expecting can cause autism in the soon-to-be bundle of joy. A woman is 40% more likely to have a baby that develops autism if she is in her second trimester. After week twelve of pregnancy the risk of having a child with autism increases. Researchers cannot tell exactly what about a fever causes this issue. A theory is that mamas bodys reaction to the infection also influences fetal brain development. Sometimes no matter what we do, we cannot escape catching a sickness. The best bet to avoid this issue is to make sure to steer clear of those you know who are sick and make hand washing a really good habit.
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