Parents' Mental Illness Leads To Autism In Kids

May 6 2008 - 10:44am

Parents with mental illnesses, especially with schizophrenia, are more likely to have kids with autism.

A study conducted by University of North Carolina researchers involved Sweden families with children born between 1977 and 2003. The study involved 1227 children who were autism diagnosed and 31000 healthy children.


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The research found that parents suffering from schizophrenia are twice as likely to have kids with autism. The research also found that mental illnesses in mothers, such as depression and personality disorders, have the least impact on child's mental health. Parents with alcohol or drug addiction showed no affect on autism risk.

Autism affects 1 out of 150 US children. It is a condition when children have difficulties in communication and social interaction. The causes for this mental condition are unknown. Some experts think that the main cause is vaccination, but most health professionals and organizations completely decline this hypothesis, saying that vaccination is safe.

This new research comes to prove previous opinions that autism has a genetic background and it is not caused only by environmental factors. More needs to be done to understand how psychiatric conditions in parents genetically affect children's risk to have autism.

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