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What Causes Autism During Pregnancy

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Ever Heard Of Rubella

Report: Autism May Begin Developing In Infants During Pregnancy

Epidemiological studies have indicated that prenatal exposure to certain viruses open a pathway for the fetus to develop autism. This include the mom getting herpes, measles and rubella. Rubella is a contagious, viral disease that brings on a low grade fever, sore throat and a distinct red rash. The rash typically begins on the face, then spreads to the rest of the body. Many studies suggest that genetic development causes autism. When the mom is carrying a virus, like Rubella or herpes, the pathway opens up for the fetus to develop autism. Rubella was the first know cause of autism. After more studies it was later proven that a mother with measles or the herpes virus also caused the fetus to develop autism.

Complications During Pregnancy May Contribute To Autism Risk

by Rachel Zamzow / 22 August 2018
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Premature puzzle:

High blood pressure or abnormal bleeding during pregnancy, as well as complications such as cesarean delivery or preterm birth, may all increase the risk of autism, two new studies suggest1,2. And the more difficulties during pregnancy and delivery, the more severe the autism features in the child, according to one of the studies.

The first study, published in Autism, suggests that siblings of autistic children experience many of the same complications.

We always investigate prenatal factors in autism and controls, but we do not really look at siblings, says lead investigator Susan Shur-Fen Gau, professor of psychiatry at National Taiwan University. The finding warrants a closer look at how an individuals genetic profile interacts with environmental triggers to shape autism risk, she says.

The second study, in Pediatrics, found that the prevalence of autism among children born prematurely is 7 percent, compared with 1.7 percent in the general population.

Together, the studies add to mounting evidence that environmental factors, especially those in effect during pregnancy, play a significant role in autism risk.

Outside of genetics, factors that occur during pregnancy are probably the greatest second area of influence on the etiology of autism, says Stephen Buka, professor of epidemiology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who was not involved in either study.

How Many Ultrasounds During Pregnancy Is Safe

According to the ACOG, it is advisable for a pregnant woman to have 2 scans at 12 weeks and 18 weeks. This is to determine whether the pregnancy is feasible or not. It will also screen the health of the baby and its anatomy as well. Thus, it is advisable to have only one to two scans unless strictly instructed by your gynecologist. The first pregnancy ultrasound is much safer than further ultrasound scans.

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Exposure To Good Bacteria During Pregnancy Buffers Risk Of Autism

Animal study suggests prenatal exposure to microbes can counteract stress and influence brain development

Inoculation with Mycobacterium Vaccae, pictured here, had beneficial impacts on the neurodevelopment of offspring, a new animal study shows.

Newswise 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 this month 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.

Its 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.

Study In Rats Suggests Prenatal Microbial Exposures Influence Neurodevelopment

Fever During Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk in Kids ...
Date:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
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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Does Drinking During Pregnancy Have A Link To Autism

Roisin Ryan explores data from the Millennium Cohort Study to understand if there is evidence of a link between drinking during pregnancy and autism in their child.

At present, women in the UK are advised to abstain from alcohol in pregnancy completely, but studies have estimated that up to 75% of women in the UK drink some alcohol during pregnancy.

Drinking alcohol in pregnancy has been shown to affect the brain development of children with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder being the most well-known disorder. Some recent studies have also suggested a link between alcohol in pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 130 people worldwide.

It is a spectrum disorder because the symptoms of autism can vary a lot from person to person. People with ASD may have difficulty communicating and forming relationships with others, and view the world differently to those without autism. They may also have difficulty with abstract concepts and with language development. Overall, it results in a large burden for individuals, their families, and the state, and is estimated to cost 25 billion annually in the UK.

Our study used the Millennium Cohort Study data to investigate if alcohol use in pregnancy was associated with a childhood diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

There were patterns in the types of women who drank:

Data from the Millennium Cohort Study is available from the UK Data Service.

Are There Treatments Options Available

There is no cure for autism, but many treatments are available that may ameliorate some of the more challenging aspects of the disorder. Education can help parents learn to deal with their childs behavioral and emotional concerns, and will allow them to train their child to live a more independent lifestyle. However, it is important to remember that all autistic children are different, and no single treatment will work for all children.

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Turning On The Microwave

In 2007 a study came out linking the use of microwaves to autism. Microwaves put off what is called “electro magnetic radiation” waves. The same thing cell phones emit, as well as other wireless technology devices. Now, we are not just talking about the use of actual microwaves , but other devices which transmit these waves. This includes baby monitors, wireless routers and cell phones. The study suggested that EMR’s basically prohibit toxins from leaving the cells, due to the EMR’s causing such damage to the bodies cells. EMR’s wreak havoc on a persons cells. When a woman is pregnant and uses a microwave or any device which emits EMR’s the fetus is going to be affected by this, thus making the child more likely to have autism.

Is There A Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

STUDY: Connection between infection during pregnancy and autism or depression for baby

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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Pollution To Blame For 1 In 6 Deaths Worldwide Study Finds

Theres no good explanation for that yet, said Dr. Bruce Lanphear, a co-author of the Vancouver study, and a professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Part of the way it might make sense, he said, is that the composition of air pollution may have changed.

Traffic is not the only pollutant linked to autism. In the study in Denmark, researchers found a connection between autism and higher levels of sulfur dioxide, potentially connected to the shipping industry, according to first author Beate Ritz. Other research in rural areas has connected autism to a mothers exposure to certain pesticides. None of these epidemiological studies can prove that pollution causes autism, but any research intentionally exposing children to pollutants in order to definitively show a link would be unethical.

She and Lanphear both said they became interested in the topic from personal experience. Ritzs first child was born below ideal weight, and Lanphears second child suffered respiratory problems in infancy both while living near a highway. Lower birth weight and respiratory issues are also linked to pollution.

Ritz said she moved out from under a freeway before her second pregnancy. Although noting that one persons experience doesnt prove anything, Ritz said her second child was born at a healthier weight. I was the lucky one who could actually act, she said, and feel better about having acted.

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Kalkbrenner said she does not want to alarm young families, but does want to get the word out that pollution from cars and trucks may pose a risk. If we care about autism, we should be concerned, she said.

Small exposures may be one of the cascading triggers for autism along with genetics and other causes, such as infections during pregnancy, Kalkbrenner said.

Its possible, she and others said, that exposure to high levels of pollution cause early fetal death the pregnancies simply dont survive. Low-level exposures, meanwhile, could have more subtle effects on brain development, she said.

This finding is consistent with other research into air pollution that shows different health effects from different levels of exposure, she and others said.

Paradoxically, autism diagnosis rates have skyrocketed as pollution rates have plummeted. Both Vancouver and Denmark are considered to have very clean air.

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Interactions Between Genes And The Environment

If someone is susceptible to ASD because of genetic mutations, then certain situations might cause autism in that person.

For instance, an infection or contact with chemicals in the environment could cause autism in someone who is susceptible because of genetic mutations.1 However, someone who is genetically susceptible might not get an ASD even if he or she has the same experiences.2

Reducing Exposure To Toxins

Autism Risk Reduced in Women Who Take Prenatal Vitamins

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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Use Of Specific Prescription Drugs During Pregnancy

What is the truth about the prescription drugs we take during pregnancy? Could they be helping us but harming the baby? There are three major drugs that have direct links to Autism: they include a drug used in labor, a preventative drug for seizures, and certain Antidepressants. Terbetuline is a drug commonly used to stop premature labor. Babies exposed to it in the third trimester are 4 times as likely to be diagnosed with Autism. Pregnant women who are given Valporic Acid, a medication for preventing seizures, early in pregnancy during the formation of the neural tube, may be associated with Autism. The study has only been done on rats, but just one dose of the drug, resulted in changes to the brain that mimic those of people diagnosed with Autism. Now, for the Antidepressants. It is a widely held belief that antidepressant used during pregnancy is safe, but according to JAMA Pediatrics, women who take them are 87% more like to have a child with Autism as compared with women who did not. Researchers say that taking antidepressants is still not a proven cause of Autism, but it is correlated with it. Experts say that pregnant women should not stop being treated for depression, but if their symptoms are mild, it might prove beneficial to consider alternative non-drug treatments like psycho-therapy and exercise.

Prenatal Inflammation Linked To Autism Risk

Maternal inflammation during early pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism in children, according to new findings supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences , part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers found this in children of mothers with elevated C-reactive protein , a well-established marker of systemic inflammation.

The risk of autism among children in the study was increased by 43 percent among mothers with CRP levels in the top 20th percentile, and by 80 percent for maternal CRP in the top 10th percentile. The findings appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry and add to mounting evidence that an overactive immune response can alter the development of the central nervous system in the fetus.

Elevated CRP is a signal that the body is undergoing a response to inflammation from, for example, a viral or bacterial infection, said lead scientist on the study, Alan Brown, M.D., professor of clinical psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Mailman School of Public Health. The higher the level of CRP in the mother, the greater the risk of autism in the child.

Brown cautioned that the results should be viewed in perspective since the prevalence of inflammation during pregnancy is substantially higher than the prevalence of autism.

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Can Stress During Pregnancy Cause Autism

You might want to take a few deep breaths before you read this.

It seems like almost every day researchers are pointing the finger at something as a possible cause of autism spectrum disorder . Now the latest in a long line of culprits is apparently stress during pregnancy.

We already know maternal stress has been linked to a bunch of unwelcome outcomes like pre-term delivery and low birth weight not to mention an increase in behavioral problems in kids later in life. But a 2016 study in the New England Journal of Medicine tells us that being stressed out while pregnant may cause autism, too.

“We know that some mothers who experience significant levels of stress don’t have children with autism, but others do,” explained senior author of the study, David Beversdorf, M.D. “Autism was thought to be largely a genetic disorder, but previous research has shown that environmental influences such as stress can play an important role in the development of the condition.”

It’s a good thing expectant mamas have nothing to freak out over, thenyou know, besides genetic testing, the fear of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, or the anxiety of having a child.

Their findings? The moms of kids with ASD who had the variation reported feeling more stress during the end of the second and the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy. Yikes!

    Other Factors Which Can Increase Your Risk Of Autism

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    The most robust explanation for autism comes from our genetics, Anagnostou said.

    But our genes and our environment interact and theres a series of these environmental exposures that have small but consistent effects.

    One is infection during pregnancy, and some infections are worse than others.

    Thats why we want all moms to be vaccinated. For example, rubella during pregnancy a very high risk of autism.

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    Other factors could be maternal diabetes, use of certain medications during pregnancy, an increased paternal age all of these things are robust. We know theyre important to biology, but the actual increase is very small for each one of them so no parent should be feeling guilt because they happen to develop an infection during pregnancy, said Anagnostou.

    We have zero evidence that vaccines increase the risk for autism.

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