Autism Could Be A Genetic Disorder
In efforts to identify people who are at risk for developing Autism, Scientists conducted the largest case study known about Autism. This particular study compared the genes of families with several people who have been diagnosed with the disorder. 15 genes were confirmed as Autism-related. Scientists say that there could be as many as 200-400 genes that are responsible for Autism. Researchers say that this information has been published in medical journals, but is not being currently being used in clinics for genetic testing. They say that relaying this information is critical, as early diagnosis and intervention have the best chance of improving patient outcome. The only real hope for recognition on these findings is even larger studies that reflect the same findings. The information should be interpreted carefully, as is important to understand that not every person with Autism will have the gene for it. It is still believed that Autism has many causes that influence in each other for a collective impact.
Endogenous Opiate Precursor Theory
In 1979, Jaak Panksepp proposed a connection between autism and opiates, noting that injections of minute quantities of opiates in young laboratory animals induce symptoms similar to those observed among autistic children. The possibility of a relationship between autism and the consumption of gluten and casein was first articulated by Kalle Reichelt in 1991.
Opiate theory hypothesizes that autism is the result of a metabolic disorder in which opioid peptides gliadorphin and casomorphin, produced through metabolism of gluten and casein , pass through an abnormally permeable intestinal wall and then proceed to exert an effect on neurotransmission through binding with opioid receptors. It has been postulated that the resulting excess of opioids affects brain maturation, and causes autistic symptoms, including behavioural difficulties, attention problems, and alterations in communicative capacity and social and cognitive functioning.
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.
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Increase: The Diet Stinks
Everyone has an opinion on what others eat. Prepackaged food is loaded with unnatural colors, arsenics and chemicals that are not really meant for consumption. There is a lot of chatter about how a child is fed and behavioral problems. There is talk that certain eating habits and chemicals can increase the risk for autism in kids. For pregnant women, the same risk is there. Prepackaged foods can put a womans unborn kiddo at a risk for autism. Of course, we all know the best foods to eat are natural foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. Going with organic is not a bad idea because they are not sprayed with the yucky chemicals that non-organic foods are. It can be hard to know what foods increase the risk of autism, so the best bet is to do thorough research and have the family eat as healthy as possible.
Evidence Of First Trimester Brain Defects
According to researchers who performed a study through the University of California San Diego, there is now clear and direct evidence that autism begins during pregnancy. The study was compiled by comparing the brain tissue of post-mortem children both with and without Autism. Apparently, tissue in the brain cortex was disturbed in the majority of those diagnosed with Autism. This part of the brain is responsible for higher order brain function and it develops in the prenatal period. Scientists say this type of disturbance is viewed as a defect, and could possibly be identified by specific genes that carry the abnormality. Researchers are hopeful that this means that in cases of Autism diagnosed in the toddler years or before, children may still have a chance at significant improvement through clinical treatment. It is not yet clear exactly what is happening in pregnancy to cause the defect, and experts continue to stress that it is unlikely caused by a single factor, but rather by multiple influences from the mother.
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Decrease: Stay Away From The Mommy Juice
There are several different environmental factors associated with autism. There is an association between cigarette smoking during pregnancy and autism. Even if you smoke heavily while pregnant, there’s nothing saying that your baby will definitely be born with autism. There is a link between high functioning autism and cigarette smoking, although smoking is not proved to alone cause autism. There is also evidence that prenatal exposure to alcohol may be a factor in autism. Of course, not all autism is caused by alcohol, but some cases of autism are related to alcohol exposure. This is a topic that is still being considered. There are many reasons why mama should avoid cigarette smoking as well as alcohol consumption and if they are avoided there is a chance that the risk of having an autistic child can be dropped.
Changing Lifestyle To Prevent Autism
A healthcare professional will not be able to tell whether your child will be autistic or not. So, is there nothing to prevent Autism? Well, its true that you couldnt stop autism but can try adopting healthy habits to reduce its chances to occur. You can adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent autism and some of them are,
1) Eat healthily, live healthily
Schedule your diet with well-balanced meals with lots of protein, vitamins, and fiber during pregnancy. Have regular check-ups and exercise along with prescribed supplements. This will help you to keep track of your own body as well as the child body. Each and every healthy habit adopted by the mother during pregnancy will eventually result in the childs brain development.
2) Reduce exposure to Air pollution
Air pollution doubles the risk of Autism in the child within the trimester of pregnancy which is concluded by the Harvard school of public health. So, the less exposure to air pollution or staying at home in the polluted area will help to prevent Autism.
3) Regular intake of Folic acid
Every pregnant woman is recommended to consume 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid per day with the doctors prescription. The researchers believe that women consuming less folic acid can lead their child developing Autism symptoms when born.
4) Follow family planning
5) Avoid Alcohol During Pregnancy
6) Stress and anxiety involve the potential risk of Autism
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Prepare For Pregnancy Through Wise Nutrition
In the past, women were encouraged to “eat for two” during pregnancy; however, now this is held to be detrimental to the health of both mother and child. Autism Research Institute recommends a woman should spend up to a year preparing for pregnancy. It endorses important dietary and lifestyle choices to ensure she is at her optimal fitness level when she conceives. Among these choices are organically grown vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and lean proteins.
Study In Rats Suggests Prenatal Microbial Exposures Influence Neurodevelopment
- University of Colorado at Boulder
- Giving beneficial bacteria to stressed mothers during the equivalent of the third trimester of pregnancy prevents an autism-like disorder in their offspring, according to a new animal study.
Giving beneficial bacteria to stressed mothers during the equivalent of the third trimester of pregnancy prevents an autism-like disorder in their offspring, according to a new animal study by University of Colorado Boulder researchers.
The study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, marks the latest in a series of studies in animals and humans suggesting that exposure to certain immune-modulating microbes can dampen inflammation, positively impacting the brain and central nervous system.
It’s among the first studies to suggest that such exposures during pregnancy influence neurodevelopment of a fetus and, while far more research is necessary, could open the door to new prenatal interventions.
“It suggests that you could develop microbial interventions that lower the risk of neurodevelopmental syndromes like autism,” said co-author Christopher Lowry, an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology.
In humans, research has long shown that maternal stress during pregnancy prompts systemic inflammation in both the mother and fetus and is a risk factor for autism, said senior author Daniel Barth, a professor of psychology and neuroscience.
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Prenatal Vitamins May Help Decrease Autism Risk In Infants
Taking vitamins early in pregnancy may be key.
Prenatal vitamins may help to lower the risk of autism in children, even for high-risk families.
Now, new research published February 27 in , claims that the benefits of prenatal vitamins also extend to high-risk families as well.
Families that have a child with autism are at high risk of having another child with ASD.
These younger siblings are up to 14 times more likely to have ASD when compared with the general population because of ASDs genetic heritability.
According to the new study, use of prenatal vitamins cut the risk of developing ASD in younger siblings of children with ASD by half.
Evidence is building for an important role of gestational exposures, including nutrition, in relation to autism. Research from imaging and other studies of the brain show that processes affected in autism occur during pregnancy. Studies have repeatedly shown that taking folic acid supplements were associated with protection from autism in the general population,Rebecca J. Schmidt, PhD, assistant professor in the department of public health sciences and the MIND Institute, UC Davis School of Medicine, and first author of the study told Healthline.
Increase: Going The Natural Route
Some mamas live what they call a natural life style. Many people live a homeopathic lifestyle. Those who live this way have strong justification for their decisions, but some do not know that it can actually be pretty risky to the baby. There are many different brands and types of natural medications that can cause many issues for baby. There have been links to some natural medicines and autism for unborn babies. Women with too much of certain types of vitamins increase their risk of having a child diagnosed with autism. Some women take extra vitamins or try out certain supplements and herbs during pregnancy. Although it all sounds good because it is thought to be healthier than the more popular options, there are also risks.
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Prenatal Exposure To Viral And Bacterial Illnesses
You may or may not have heard this one before that getting sick during pregnancy can up the odds of an Autism diagnosis in your baby. This information has been around for quite awhile now that when infections stimulate the central nervous system of the mother, her immune response might trigger an alteration in the unborn baby. While some might assume that a more serious illness is needed, that is not necessarily true. The main causes for concern are viral infections during the first trimester, and bacterial infections in the second trimester. The highest threat arises when the mother is sick enough to be hospitalized in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. The biggest culprits are the flu, the herpes virus, congenital rubella, and borne disease. When we see rubella, we often think of the MMR vaccine and the ongoing debate over a link between Autism and the scheduled shot. Direct evidence that the vaccine could cause Autism has not been found. It is still unknown whether the risk for Rubella is still present when the mother is exposed to live vaccines.
Increase: The Body Isn’t At A Healthy Number
Most women do not like discussing their weight, and while pregnant most women gain at least twelve pounds. Researchers claim that going into pregnancy at an unhealthy weight as well as gaining too much weight during pregnancy can both be linked to autism. In fact, for every five pounds of extra baby weight a mama gains she increases her kiddos chance of autism by one percent. This is a very easily avoidable issue. Before trying to conceive it is always a promising idea to meet with the doc to see if your body is healthy enough for pregnancy. Starting a good eating and exercise regimen can set yourself up for an excellent lifestyle during pregnancy. Losing as much weight as recommended before pregnancy is a sure-fire way to avoid your baby becoming autistic. While pregnant, gaining weight slowly and at the recommended amount is also a good idea.
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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
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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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 baby’s 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 didn’t 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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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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Preventing Autism In Pregnancy: Is It Possible
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex condition, affecting 1 in 68 children. But can it be prevented during pregnancy? Experts weigh in on the latest research.
Experts are still trying to piece together what factors contribute to the development of autism. Recent research suggests that changes that occur during conception, pregnancy, and possibly even delivery may increase the risk of autism in children who are genetically predisposed to the disorder.;
One study;in the;New England Journal of Medicine;found differences in the brains of children with autism as early as the second trimester of pregnancy. While researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint a definite cause, ASD likely develops from a combination of factors. “Some cases may primarily have a genetic cause, and others may have a primarily environmental cause, but most cases probably result from the interaction of both,” says Paul Wang, M.D., senior vice president of medical research for;Autism Speaks.
While you can’t do much to change genetics, you;can;alter your exposure to certain environmental factors that have shown a link to ASD. However, none of these lifestyle changes are absolutesexperts can’t tell you that lowering your exposure to one particular factor will lower;your;child’s risk.