Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Autism Risk Linked to Newborn’s Placenta

posted by Linda Mintle

baby feetOne in 50 children are now diagnosed with autism (CDC). Right now, there are no definitive tests to tell whether a child will develop autism, but we know that the earlier we detect autism, the better we can serve a child.

So how about detection at birth?

A new study by Yale researchers and UC Davis’ MIND Institute discovered a tool they can use to detect who is likely at risk when a child is born. The study looked at the abnormalities in the placenta at birth. Specifically, researchers found abnormal folds of placenta in newborn children. Placenta is responsible for feeding nutrients to a baby and removing waste from his or her blood. It is discarded at birth so easy to use for detection.

Based on the placenta, researchers could identify whether or not that child was the younger sibling of an autistic child, a risk factor that puts a child nine times more at risk for developing the condition. Kliman, the senior author, discovered that the placentas from women whose older children had autism was remarkably different from those who did not. Interestingly, when researchers at UC Davis’ MIND Institute (who have also been studying the causes of autism)  sent 217 placenta samples to Kliman, he was able to correctly identified 90% of them coming from a younger sibling of an autisitc child.

Risk doesn’t mean autism is automatic. The study has to follow these babies who were identified in order to determine which of those children will actually become autistic.

But finding this marker will allow researchers to identify the genetics that set the stage and the environmental triggers involved. Cheryl Walker, the study’s co-author and assistant professor at University of California, sees obesity, nutrition, weight gain or diabetes in the mother, and exposure to chemicals that disrupt hormones factors as influencers of fetal growth and tissues, like those in the placenta and the brain.

The take away for parents: The test can be done even before delivery and if the marker is found, early intervention, when the brain is more open to change, can be done. Again, the marker only means the child is at risk. Further studies will follow those kids and see which ones show signs of autism.

 

Source: Biological Psychiatry. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health; the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis; Yale University Reproductive and Placental Research Unit; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



Previous Posts

Fatal Attraction: What You Found Attractive May Now Bother You
When John dated Katie, he was attracted to how book smart she was and how much she loved to learn new things. He is the first to tell you, he's not cut out for academics and loves to play instead of learn. As someone who needed to play more, Katie was attracted to John's outgoing and fun personality

posted 6:00:02am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Would You Rather Be Shocked Than Bored?
I can remember so many times when my kids would say to me, "I'm bored!" And they didn't like my response, "That's a good thing. Maybe you can listen to your thoughts or think creatively." Truth is, most of us don't like to be bored. At least not in this wired age. Our typical boredom trainers are

posted 6:00:54am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Kardashian Catwalk Controversy: A Little Sibling Rivalry?
Think drama! NO, think mindless drama. Now who comes to mind? The Kardashians of course. If there is a way to keep their names in the news, they find it. And so it goes with the latest "controversy." Apparently, 18- year- old Kendall Jenner banned sister Kim Kardashian from attending her fashi

posted 7:55:46am Sep. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Lifestyle Changes Now May Prevent Alzheimer's Later
I remember when my grandmother began to have memory loss in her early 80s. It was hard to watch because she knew she was losing it. Eventually, Alzheimer's took its hold on her mind and she ended up in a nursing home not knowing who we were. If you, like me, have a family member who suffers with

posted 6:00:32am Sep. 24, 2014 | read full post »

What is Bipolar Depression?
When academy award winning actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones announced that she suffered from Bipolar II Disorder and checked into a mental health facility for a brief stay in 2011, it made celebrity news. People wondered. What is Bipolar Disorder and how does that differ from depression? The Nat

posted 6:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.