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Autumn babies are more likely to suffer from learning difficulties. This is probably because their mothers’ levels of vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin’, were at their lowest when they were conceived, researchers believe.
Just why a child develops autism remains something of a mystery—but there could be a genetic link. Children whose sibling had autism, or ASD (autism spectrum disorder), are 14 times more likely to have the problem themselves.
Women who regularly take the painkiller paracetamol (acetaminophen) when they are pregnant are more likely to give birth to a child with autism or ADHD (attention-deficit, hyperactive disorder), a new study has suggested.
Autism is seen as a developmental problem that’s centred in the brain—but new research suggests it could also be found in the peripheral nerves in the limbs and fingers.
The US’s health regulators have been hiding data that establishes that vaccines have been causing autism and neuro-developmental disorders, a whistle-blower claims. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has been forced to release documents that reveal that vaccines increase the risk nearly eight times.
It’s been suspected for some time that pesticides cause autism and developmental problems in children, but scientists have this week established that the risk is higher if the toxins are sprayed from a plane.
Vitamin B12 seems to be the key to brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Children with autism have levels of the vitamin in their brain that are three times lower than found in healthy children, and even in healthy adults up to the age of 50. Similar levels have been found in patients with schizophrenia, which suggests both diseases are associated with a premature decrease of the vitamin.
Taking antidepressants when you’re pregnant can cause major problems for the child. Women who take them in the first trimester increase the risk of birth defects, while taking them in the second or third trimester raises the possibility of autism.