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Prenatal Autism Test Nears Completion

Scientists are making progress in the effort to develop a prenatal test for autism.

Previous research studies have found higher levels of the male hormone testosterone in the fluids of babies who are born with autism, thereby opening the way to a prenatal test for the disorder. Autism now affects one in 150 American children, with symptoms ranging from severe mental incapacity to mild social impairments.

Though the test promises to provide significant insights into fetal wellness, the procedure is not without it critics.

Autism expert Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor at Cambridge University, believes that terminating pregnancies based on such prenatal testing could lead to fewer people being born who are gifted in mathematics. Baron-Cohen explained that autism becomes more common at the extremes of math excellence.

Labels: autism, screening, prenatal

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Second-hand Smoked Linked to ADHD

A recent study by the University of Washington found that exposure to second-hand smoke increases a pregnant woman's risk for having a child with ADHD or conduct disorder. A total of 171 children participated in the study and were divided into three groups: children whose mothers smoked, children whose mothers were exposed to second-hand smoke, and children whose mothers were in a smoke-free environment during the final two trimesters of pregnancy.
"The UW researchers found that those children whose mothers had been exposed to tobacco smoke either by smoking or by being around smokers when they were pregnant had more symptoms of ADHD and conduct disorder..."
It's believed that nicotine is the compound which affects brain development during the last two trimesters and is the cause of ADHD and conduct disorder. Read more at News-Medical.net.

Does your child seem to have little or no regard for the feelings of others? Is your teen aggressive toward you or peers, even destructive or physically cruel? Has your adolescent ever threatened to assault you?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, this could indicate a serious behavioral problem: conduct disorder. Learn more about conduct disorder from the factsheet that explains what conduct disorder is and how you can help your child.

Labels: prenatal, smoking, development

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Parents Mental Health May Influence Child's ADHD

Researchers at the University of Maryland have found a connection between a parent's mental health and behavior problems of children with ADHD.
"The study... found that early positive parenting during the preschool years predicted fewer conduct problems as the children grew into early adolescence. The strength of the findings led researchers to conclude that maternal depression may be a risk factor, whereas positive parenting may be a protective factor."
Having this research information means that early intervention programs can be developed which are aimed specifically at the children who are most at risk. Read more at PsychCentral.com.

Labels: behavior, mental_health, prenatal

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Attention Problems Tied to Teen Smoking

Warnings against women smoking during pregnancy aren't new. But researchers have recently discovered that teens who were exposed to nicotine while still in the womb and who also smoke have increased attention problems. A total of 92 adolescents who were exposed to smoke and 89 who were not were tested on their abilities to focus on both auditory and visual cues.
"The study found that teen boys who smoked and were exposed to nicotine in the womb were the most vulnerable, showing significant problems paying attention to things they heard... Those who did not smoke and whose mothers did not smoke while pregnant fared best."
Though nicotine isn't exclusively responsible for causing attention problems, the study shows that it can play a significant role. Read more at Boston.com.

Labels: health, prenatal, smoking

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Study Links ADHD, Prenatal Exposure to Tobacco Smoke

A study conducted by a team of doctors from Cincinnati, British Columbia, Vancouver, and North Carolina has found that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke or lead may contribute to the development of ADHD in children.

“The researchers found that about 8.7 percent of 8- to 15-year-old survey participants met the criteria for having ADHD… Children who were exposed to prenatal cigarette smoke were more than twice as likely to meet the criteria for having ADHD, compared to children who were not exposed to smoke in the womb. Children with high lead levels also were at significantly higher risks of having ADHD than those with moderate and low lead levels.”

Children who were exposed to both cigarette smoke and lead were over eight times more likely to develop ADHD symptoms.

Labels: causes, prenatal, tobacco

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 1 Comment

Pesticide Exposure May Raise Risk for ADHD

Children whose mothers had higher levels of pesticides in their urine during pregnancy are more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to a new study from the University of California in Berkeley. The effect was especially true for boys.

  • Researchers tested the urine of 300 women twice during their pregnancies.
  • Then they followed up on the children at ages three and five years old for signs of attention deficit disorder.
  • The mothers who had higher concentrations of pesticides known as organophosphates in their urine were more likely to have children with signs of attention problems at five years old.
  • The study was conducted in an agricultural area where people are more exposed to such chemicals.

"Given the impact and prevalence of attention disorders in children and adults, finding potential opportunities for prevention is important," said research analyst Amy Marks.

This study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Labels: research, prenatal, causes of adhd

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 0 Comments