Preeclampsia during pregnancy linked to autism risk

The causes of autism are myriad and complex. Now a new study as published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics finds that mothers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more than twice as likely to have suffered from preeclampsia during pregnancy than mothers of children without the disorder. The likelihood of an ASD diagnosis further increased as the severity of preeclampsia increased. The findings suggest a link between preeclampsia and autism.

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests during the first three years of life. The disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication and by restricted, repetitive, or stereotyped behavior.

Preeclampsia is a serious and potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine. Symptoms include swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches, and changes in vision. The only cure for the condition, which generally appears after twenty weeks of pregnancy, is giving birth. Preeclampsia is the most common dangerous pregnancy complication. The condition affects about three to five percent of pregnancies and accounts for 40 to 60 percent of maternal deaths in developing countries.

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10th December 2014
Business 2 Community