Can autism be prevented? To date, medical experts have no concrete theory regarding the causes of autism. While everyone agrees that the condition occurs when the typical brain development is discontinued, it is not yet clear to them why or how this is happening.
Some theories point to genetics as the main factor. Others argue that autism is caused by environmental factors to which a developing child is exposed while still in the womb. Prenatal development in the womb has not yet been analyzed from all points of view.
Without reaching very eloquent conclusions, here are some pregnancy problems that have often been associated with autism.
Periods between tasks
The Kaiser Permanente Research Division in Oakland, California has published a study that says the distance between two consecutive pregnancies could be a factor that causes autism. The study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that those children who were conceived at a distance of less than 2 years or more than 6 years after the first pregnancy have a 2-3 times higher risk of developing the condition.
A shorter period between pregnancies may be associated with the reduction of folic acid, an essential nutrient for children's brain health and its development during the intrauterine period. Too long periods can be associated with possible infertility problems, which could also play a role in the development of autism.
Administration of antidepressants during pregnancy
A study by the University of Montreal on a sample of 145,456 women shows that antidepressants such as Prozac or Seroxat can increase their chances of developing autism by 87% when administered in the second and third trimester, by 87%. pregnancy. Antidepressants are generally not recommended during pregnancy, with minor exceptions, where the benefits of their administration may be more important than the risks.
Obesity and diabetes
Children born to obese women with diabetes are 4 times more at risk of developing autism, according to a study by John Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health. He studied both future mothers who already had diabetes and women who developed diabetes during pregnancy. A previous study by the same researchers shows that diabetes developed during pregnancy exposes children to a double risk than previously diagnosed. Obesity and diabetes are alarming signs for any pregnant woman, and these studies clearly show how the child can be affected in such situations.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
The Karolinska Institute in Sweden recently conducted a study showing that children born to mothers diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome have a 59% higher risk of autism than others. Autism is 4 times more common in boys than in girls, and women who suffer from this syndrome have an increased level of androgen, the sex hormone responsible for developing typical male characteristics. Exposure to this hormone during the intrauterine period could therefore be very dangerous. But the researchers believe that the real problem is the changes in metabolism suffered by women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.
In vitro fertilization
Researchers at Columbia University show that in vitro fertilization exposes children to a 2-fold increased risk of developing autism than natural fertilization. Scientists argue that the procedure itself does not cause autism, but the risk of multiple pregnancies and other risks associated with infertility treatments. In vitro fertilization, this occurs in a laboratory, and the embryo is subsequently implanted in the mother's uterus. In order to prevent the chances of multiple pregnancies, doctors who are responsible for fertilization recommend transferring a single egg.
This is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and is manifested by increased blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. In a study by the Davis MIND Institute of the University of California, conducted on 500 children diagnosed with autism, it was shown that 200 of them also had developmental delays. Researchers believe that placenta problems are the main cause.
Preeclampsia restricts the fetus's oxygen and nourishment and can affect the development of its brain. The study also shows that the severity of the illness exposes children to a higher risk of developing autism. Moreover, preeclampsia is a danger to pregnant women, not just to children.
This autoimmune disease attacks the immune system and healthy cells. According to a study conducted by the Register of Descendants of Mothers suffering from Lupus Erythematosus, children whose mothers were diagnosed thus have a double chance of developing autism. But researchers say that exposure to antibody treatments recommended for treating lupus is actually responsible for developing autism in children.
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