Teen moms and older parents expose future babies to autism, scientists announced, based on a new study conducted recently.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder and its characteristics affect the person’s verbal and non-verbal communication as well as the social and repetitive behavior. The first signs of autism disorder are said to be noticed in the first two years of a child’s life, according to author Johnson Myers.
The study is presently dubbed as one of the largest and most extensive ever undertook on this condition and parental age. Worldwide, if we look at numbers, 1 in 68 children has the autism.
The researchers working of the study funded by Autism Speakers, have discovered an increased risk of future babies developing autism if their parents have a large gap between their ages or their mothers are in their teens.
The health records of more than 5.7 million children have been studied in the research from which data was collected. The subjects had five different backgrounds, coming from Norway, Sweden, Israel, Denmark and Western Australia. Among them, 30,000 children had the disorder.
“Children who were born to fathers over 50 had a 66 percent higher rate of having autism. If the fathers were in their 40s, there was a 28 percent higher risk of autism” said Dr. Holly Phillips, a medical contributor to CBS News.
The results, which were published today in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, also show that the risk of this disorder development are 15% higher when the mothers are in their 40s, even higher when the mothers are in their teens as well as when the gap between parents is considerably larger.
Previously, the higher risk of autism in children of older parents was assumed to have links to genetic mutations in the egg cells. But scientists are short on details when it comes to explain the high risk of autism in children born to parents with wide age gap or the ones born to teen mothers.
One hypothesis claims that this may have to do to the fact that some young mothers go through less than optimal pregnancies for reasons such as low income or medical care unavailability.
Other opinions claim that there could be many more factors at stake that increase the risk of autism development in children, and these factors can only be discovered by further research on the subject.
Yet there is hope in what involves the future development of children with autism disorder. Studies have shown that an early intervention can greatly add to the improvement in these children’ intellectual ability as well as diminish the symptoms produced by autism.
Occasionally improvement as well as recovery may intervene, so the children lose their diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Yet, unfortunately, there is no cure for autism.
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