Autism: two influential factors

Publié le : 5 April 2013

 According to two studies recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "women whose father was old when they were born carry a greater risk of having an autistic child,” and this risk is even greater among "women who were ill-treated during their childhood." Emma Frans, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden), explains that "with very old men, the risk of autism increases for their grandchildren. […] With the average age of fathers on the increase, this may explain why we are seeing more and more cases." The researcher points out that "only men seem to pass on more genetic mutations linked to autism when they are older."          
Andrea Roberts, from Harvard University and principal author of the study, shows with regard to ill-treatment that out of 53,000 women divided into seven categories according to the degree of ill-treatment, "the women most affected (2% of the sample) were three times more at risk of having an autistic child." Moreover, "the immune system seems involved" because "the women who are subjected to ill-treatment generate more stress hormones, and this causes inflammation. It is possible that this inflammation has an impact on the foetus.

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