New study shows surprising cause for Autism

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/04/MNG01K5FK7.DTL&type=printable

Environmental factors play a more important role in causing autism than previously assumed and, surprisingly, an even larger role than genetics, according to a new study out of UCSF and Stanford that could force a dramatic swing in the focus of research into the developmental disorder.

The study, published in Monday’s issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at 192 pairs of twins in California and, using a mathematical model, found that genetics account for about 38 percent of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for about 62 percent…

Several scientists said they expect the new study to start shifting research toward early environmental factors, in particular prenatal conditions for developing fetuses.

One study along those lines, also published in Monday’s Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at the possible role of maternal antidepressant use before and during pregnancy. The study of 298 autistic children in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California system found a two-fold increase in risk of the disorder when mothers took antidepressants at some point in the year before giving birth…

My son has autism-and I didn’t take any antidepressents during my pregnancy. I Was under a lot of stress, however with marital issues and lack of support. I also have mild aspergers myself and so does my youngest daughter, leading me to see genetics as the reason behind the ASD (autistic spectrum disorders). My cousin also had ASD as a child. Who knows in our case. :cool::shrug:

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