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Autism Might Actually Develop During Pregnancy

Autism Might Actually Develop During Pregnancy

The causes of autism are still a mystery, but that doesn't stop researchers from working day and night to figure out the answers to all the questions asked, including those by women who are or plan to become pregnant. The risk of giving birth to an autistic child is way too high, wherein 2013 numbers show that 1 in every 50 children, while the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention study states the number is actually 1 in every 68 children. The latter figures are not representative of the whole of the United States however, nor the rest of the world, as it only took into account the diagnoses of 8 year old children from 11 different communities.

Pregnancy is one of the largest factors to take the blame for autism. Mind you, this is a problem if one believes that autism is a disease or a disorder, which I personally do not. I may call it a disorder because of the different way the brain is structured and operates, but with the current numbers it is much more likely that autism is possible a step the human brain is taking for evolution. As with any species, mutations occur in the cells which either makes a being more adaptable in the world, or less so. Those who show progress and show better survival skills are the ones who will have their genealogical lines survive. Of course, all of this is simply theory, one of which is easy for mothers or potential mothers to hold onto. After all, it is much easier to believe that your child is a progression of mankind, better than the rest of those children. In reality, the autistic brain does often place your children at the front of the train, as they may possibly be the smartest kids in class.

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As hard is may seem for many to digest, however, certain studies show that brain development might be disrupted during pregnancy, which ultimately leads to the onset of autistic traits, both positive and negative.

Cortical Disruptions During Pregnancy
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Allen Institute for Brain Science recently published a study that proves with rather interestingly clear new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy. Blame the vaccinations, blame the doctors, blame the type of birth if you wish, but science is ever improving and constantly upping itself on its ability to answer questions that were previously unthinkable. Researchers had 25 genes in post-mortem brain tissue of 11 children with and 11 without autism analyzed, including genes that serve as biomarkers for brain cell types in different layers of the cortex, genes implicated in autism, and several control genes.

The result?

  • Genes coded for certain excitatory neurons were found not to have been expressed as well as they should have been, often in exactly the areas that correlate with autism symptoms. These include the parts of the brain responsible for functions such as communication and perceiving/interpreting social cues.
  • 10 of the 11 autism brains seemed to have patches of abnormal gene expression, while only one in the control sample showed similar findings.

These parts of the cortex are generally developing during the second trimester, which makes those three months a crucial time period when considering the risks of autism. Autism in itself has been found to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, with rather high prevalence among twins and higher risk among those who live in the city among major pollutants. Everything is technically a factor in giving birth to a child with autism, but taking care during pregnancy, no matter which trimester one enters, is a must.