The findings, released in the Archives of General Psychiatry, suggest that something in the birth environment — drugs, chemicals or infections — may be triggering autism in children who are already genetically predisposed to develop the disease.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Environmental factors may play a greater role in autism than previously thought, tipping the scale away from a strict focus on genetics, two studies released on Monday suggest.
Researchers at health insurer Kaiser Permanente found mothers of children with autism were twice as likely to have been prescribed a common antidepressant during the year before their pregnancy than mothers of healthy children. And the risk was even greater — a threefold increase — when the drug was taken in the first trimester of pregnancy. The findings, released in the Archives of General Psychiatry, suggest that something in the birth environment — drugs, chemicals or infections — may be triggering autism in children who are already genetically predisposed to develop the disease.
“We now have strong evidence that, on top of genetic heritability, a shared prenatal environment may have a greater than previously realized role in the development of autism.”one in every 150 children born today in the United States, or about 1 percent of the population.
“Environmental factors play a bigger role than previously thought,” said Dr. Joachim Hallmayer of Stanford University School of Medicine in California, who led the study. Recent studies have suggested genetics played the biggest role in autism, but his findings suggest something different, he said in a telephone interview.
My advise to expexting mothers: Avoid antidepressants. Detoxify your body with natural antioxidants, drink herbal detox teas, meditate, exerscize, learn about chemicals around you.
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