Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Autism Risk Linked to Newborn’s Placenta

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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

Is Avoiding Conflict a Bad Idea?
Mary and Bill are arguing again. Mary hates how she feels when conflict happens. She wants to retreat, run or hide, or simply  avoid. Too often, she chooses to avoid, but is this a good idea? For the most part, NO, at least when we are ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How God Helps With Relationship Insecurity
Like many people, you may have been hurt in a relationship because of trust violations. Or maybe growing up, you couldn't trust those around you to keep their word or treat you kindly. As a result, you struggle with insecurity. Don’t despair. ...

posted 7:00:53am Feb. 10, 2016 | read full post »

The Warning Signs of Family Stress
The Jones family has been under a great deal of stress lately. Dad's corporation is downsizing and jobs may be eliminated. Mr. Jones could be one of those jobs. Mrs. Jones' mother passed away suddenly, leaving a deep vacuum of support and help. ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like
Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not ...

posted 7:00:32am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?
Hannah hadn't spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here ...

posted 7:00:31am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.