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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Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
Some people believe that there is a link between vaccination and children developing autism. Others promote the idea that vaccines directly cause autism. This is not true.Vaccines do not cause autism, and they are not correlated with an increased risk of autism. Vaccines and autism are unrelated.Babies receive their first vaccines at 6 months old, and they may receive vaccines against various severe childhood illnesses throughout their first two years of life. Because autism signs can be recognized around 6 months old and autism can be reliably diagnosed around 2 years old, many parents may mentally link their childs autism symptoms with having been vaccinated.Vaccines protect children against dangerous diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, scarlet fever, and chickenpox. Talk to your childs pediatrician if you have any questions about their recommended vaccination schedule.One study in the late 1990s reported that vaccine ingredients caused autism, but several medical studies following this up did not find any link. One ingredient called thimerosal was considered to be the most likely culprit. This was proven wrong, but even so, it has since been removed from vaccine production, except for some flu vaccines.
What Are The Chances Of Having A Child With Autism
Have you and your partner considered the chances of having a child with autism?
And what are the chances of having another child with autism if your first child has autism?
Every parent knows all too well that having a child completely changes your life for ever.
For the better, for sure!
Though there are moments when you are cleaning up poop, listening to 3rd hour of continual crying, or being called to the school for your childs bad behaviour when you seriously wonder if you could do this all over again!
If you happen to have a child with autism, you know already the extra demand on your energy levels, your sanity, your finances with extra therapy, special schools and doctors appointments.
And while you love your child completely and unreservedly, some parents admit feeling guilty if they secretly hope their second child does not have autism.
There are also feelings of will you have enough time? for the second child as your first child already takes up so much time.
There is a lot to unpack and consider here.
This is complicated of course by the fact that there is not one clear cause for autism
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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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Risk Of Autism Spikes For Children Of Older Men
THIS ARTICLE IS MORE THAN FIVE YEARS OLD
This article is more than five years old. Autism research – and science in general – is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.
DNA decay: The sperm of older men may degrade with age, raising the risk of autism in their children.
The latest study on fathers age and autism risk has more bad news for older men: A mans chances of fathering a child with autism begin to rise at age 30 and significantly increase after age 50, according to a report published online 30 November in Molecular Psychiatry1.
A number of papers published in the past few years have suggested that children born to older men are more likely to have autism than are those with younger fathers. The new multi-part study answers several lingering questions about the link and provides what may be the strongest evidence yet that a mans advancing age contributes to his childs risk of autism.
The new study is the strongest one yet, says John McGrath, professor at the University of Queenslands Queensland Brain Institute in Brisbane, Australia, who was not involved in the study. Its quite convincing.
The association was there even though we controlled for anything that anyone had previously shown to be associated with autism, says lead investigator Abraham Reichenberg, reader in epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, London.
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Supplements During Pregnancy May Reduce Autism Risk
Whether certain supplements, taken before or during pregnancy, can reduce the risk of autism is a hotly debated question. A new large-scale study takes a fresh look.
Autistic spectrum disorders are believed to affect may be on the rise.
Despite this, the exact causes and risk factors involved are still shrouded in mystery. No one knows why ASDs occur and how they can be prevented.
Over the years, several studies have looked at the links between a mothers nutritional status and the cognitive abilities of her offspring. The findings, to date, have been inconclusive , but scientists believe that this line of questioning might eventually help to solve the ASD riddle.
For instance, previous work has shown a relationship between low maternal vitamin D and ASD. Similarly, neural tube defects that is, birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord that occur very early in pregnancy are known to be prevented by increased folic acid intake .
For these reasons and others, pregnant women are recommended to take multivitamins and folic acid supplements as standard.
Because relationships between multivitamin and folic acid supplementation and ASDs have been inconsistent, a study published this week in
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.
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A Parents Guide To Autism Treatment And Support
If youve recently learned that your child has or might have autism spectrum disorder, youre probably wondering and worrying about what comes next. No parent is ever prepared to hear that a child is anything other than happy and healthy, and an ASD diagnosis can be particularly frightening. You may be unsure about how to best help your child, or confused by conflicting treatment advice. Or you may have been told that ASD is an incurable, lifelong condition, leaving you concerned that nothing you do will make a difference.
While it is true that ASD is not something a person simply grows out of, there are many treatments that can help children acquire new skills and overcome a wide variety of developmental challenges. From free government services to in-home behavioral therapy and school-based programs, assistance is available to meet your childs special needs and help them learn, grow, and thrive in life.
When youre looking after a child with ASD, its also important to take care of yourself. Being emotionally strong allows you to be the best parent you can be to your child in need. These parenting tips can help by making life with an autistic child easier.
Children Less Likely To Meet Autism Criteria After Therapy
“What we found at three years of age is the babies who had received our therapy had significantly reduced autism behaviours compared to a control group. And the therapy was so effective that actually the children who received the therapy were less likely to meet the clinical criteria for an autism diagnosis.
“The children who received our therapy, they were two-thirds less likely to meet criteria for autism. That’s a huge reduction.
“That’s the first time that’s ever been found in the world.”
The research found providing support very early in life could alter the developmental trajectories of children and potentially change the course of their life.
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How To Reduce The Risk Of Autism
A higher risk of having a child on the autism spectrum is associated with several pregnancy-related issues. Some of these, such as the use of certain pharmaceuticals during pregnancy, can be managed to reduce the risk. Others, however, are difficult, if not impossible, to change.
Its important to remember that an association is not the same thing as a cause. For example, it’s a fact that preterm babies are more likely to have autism than full-term babies, but it’s not known exactly why. The reasons may actually relate more to genetics or to socioeconomic factors than to the behaviors of the birth parent.
This article will discuss the pregnancy-related risk factors for autism, with a look at which factors are supported by the most evidence, which have weaker associations, and what you can do to reduce the risk.
Can We Change The Risk Of Autism
Autism spectrum disorders are a group of neurodevelopmental disorderscharacterized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication and byrepetitive, restrictive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. The most serious of the conditions comprising ASD isautistic disorder , as it is likely to have co-occurring intellectual disability anda range of medical, behavioral and psychiatric conditions. The prevalence of ASD is estimated to be about1% of children. Because oftemporal trends in autism prevalence and the clinical and behavioral challenges of thecondition, understanding risk factors and determining potential causes, prevention, andtreatment options are high priorities for researchers, parents, advocates, clinicians,and educators.
ASD is highly heritable however, the clinical presentation can vary widely between family members and amongaffected individuals. Genetic factors are the best studied risk factors for ASD that have thus far beenidentified., Additionally some prenatal, obstetric and environmentalexposures have been associated with increased risk for ASD. The evidence to date suggests that ASD is a combination ofmultiple genetic and environmental risk factors leading to variable clinicalpresentations.,,, This heterogeneity is a major obstacle to researchers.Identified risk factors are implicated only in a minority of ASD cases, and the etiologyof ASD remains largely unknown.
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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.
Treatment For The Second Child After The First Autistic Child Being Born
The latest research indicates that one out of 20 infants having an elder autistic sibling is more likely to have this disorder. The treatment focuses on to identify autism as early as possible before the more symptoms show up. In this treatment, the healthcare professional gets involved in treating the child in the womb when the fetus brain is still responsive enough.
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The Stigma Of Autism: When All Eyes Are Upon You
What parent of a child with autism hasnt had one of those moments in public? Your child is screaming, spinning or making noises, and youre on the receiving end of disapproving stares or outright hostility from The Annoyed. Control your child, The Annoyed says coldly. Maybe he assumes your child lacks discipline maybe he recognizes the disability but blames you for subjecting him to such behavior. The Annoyed can be a stranger, an acquaintance or cousin Pat.
At that moment, you feel the stigma that societies around the globe attach to autism. In different ways and to different degrees, people in many countries view autism as a source of disappointment, annoyance, shame or worse. According to some researchers, stigma may keep families from seeking a diagnosis and services for their children, from participating fully in their communities, and from enjoying the same quality of life as their neighbors. Simply put, stigma influences public health.1
Stigma is born of culture, so it may look different depending on whether you are living in South Korea, Australia, the West Bank, Japan or the United States. Pope Francis recently told Roman Catholics worldwide to help with breaking down the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma burdening people with autism spectrum disorders, and just as often their families.2
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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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What Are The Chances Of Having A Child With Autism And Does This Go Up For A Second Child
In general, for any random couple, the chances of having a child with autism spectrum disorder is approx. 1 in 68 or 1.5%.
But the risk does go up dramatically to 20% for families who already have a child with ASD.
If the family already has more than one child with ASD, the chances of another child having ASD increases to 30%. And the risk is even higher, if that child is a boy.
So it is clearly something parents must think about carefully before plunging in without thought.
What Is The Diagnostic Manual Of Mental Disorders
So Im going out on a limb here, but Im guessing the question most of you are currently asking is, since when wasnt Aspergers a form of autism? The answer to this is simple: 2013 The reasoning is a bit more complex.
In 2013, the world of autism was rocked when the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was released. If this means as little to you as it did to me, all you need to know is that the DSM has been dubbed the psychiatrists bible, and 5 years ago it was rewritten.
From changing the very name of autism from Autistic Disorder, to Autistic Spectrum Disorder, to changing the way in which its diagnosed. Once the DSM-5 was released, there were very few similarities between what we had come to know of autism, and what it is now .
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