Thursday, August 04, 2005

Clinic Notes: Etiological Factors in Children Diagnosed with Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Preliminary Results

*Poster session II Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. June 1-4, 2005. Austin, Texas
Angie S. MacKewn, Sherry D. Jones, Gary E. Brown & Esther J. Plank
The purpose of the current study was to develop a predictive model of more frequently occurring pre and postnatal etiological factors in children diagnosed with autism. A survey of biological mothers of children diagnosed with autism or PDD and of children without developmental delays were matched on gender (n=134 males and 56 females) and age (M=6.54 years, SD=2.78 in autistic); (M=6.23 years, SD= 2.90 in controls). The developmental survey asked several questions including, pregnancy food cravings and aversions, childhood ear infection, presence of tubes, vomiting and nausea patterns, and speech development. A logistic regression equation found that not vomiting in the first trimester, the mother having an infection while pregnant, and the child having over 7 ear infections, were significant predictors of whether a child was diagnosed with autism or not. Of mothers of autistic children, 40% vomited in the first trimester compared to 53% of the control mothers. The “embryo protection hypothesis” suggests that morning sickness has an evolutionary basis and protects the embryo from teratogens by causing pregnant women to purge (Profet, 1992).


Anonymous said...

I am the mother of two PDD-NOS/ADHD children, and they probably represent the fourth generation in our family with autism-like and ADHD-like features. My sons are both very bright, and my older child had many behaviors that disappeared without intervention (because finding a diagnosis was hard until he went into school). My sense of things is that if ASDs are genetic, then the sensory issues are as well, and that mothers of spectrum children might be more sensitive to pregnancy hormones. What's more, I think the signal to give birth comes from hormones produced by the fetus. If the neurotransmitters of spectrum children are awry, then why wouldn't these hormones also be awry, and so why wouldn't the combination cause preterm labor symptoms and also difficulty with birthing?

Incidentally, I got more terbutaline and had more problems with the firstborn and he is less affected than my younger child.

Lizlar2abe2 said...

I am the mother of fraternal twins. One twin is diagnosed with ASD and non-verbal at 2 1/2. His twin is very verbal and shows no signs of ASD. I had a good pregnancy and vaginal delivery of both boys. It makes me think that ASDs are genetic given the prenatal conditions were the same for my sons. My one sons sensitivities to his surroundings showed early on within days of birth and by 18mos his ASD was clearly evident. I would like to see some research relating to twins with ASD