Premature babies likely to fall prey to autism?

By TNT Bureau

Dec 30, 2015: According to a new research conducted at Karolinska university hospital in Sweden, premature babies are likely to fell prey to autism spectrum disorder.

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In the current scenario, where autism and similar mentally challenged cases are on the rise, scientists have revealed that extremely premature babies are at a greater risk of developing autism spectrum disorder. Autism is often related to disturbances in genes from both maternal and paternal sides. Some even suggested that the mental situation is caused due to improper eating habits as well as sleeping patterns during pregnancy.

However, clear cut results have not been shown yet. It is in this sphere that this new research has come about as an effective alternative to provide apt answers to question related to autism and related mental disorders.

Significant details of the research

In the research, it was found that there were dissimilarities in the brains of kids born prior to 27 weeks of gestation who were later diagnosed with autism.

Autism is generally associated with genetic factors. However, the investigators of the study suggest that complications as well as birth weight may increase the risk of this mental condition among extremely premature babies.

The co-author of the study and popular neonatologist Ulkria Aden said,? Our study shows that environmental factors can also cause autism.?She is also involved in other significant researchers that are being conducted at the departments of child?s and women?s health in Karolinska institute.

She added,? We were surprised by how many — almost 30 percent — of the extremely preterm-born children had developed ASD [autism spectrum disorder] symptoms,” said Aden. “Amongst children born after full-term pregnancy, the corresponding figure is 1 percent. With new therapeutic regimes to stimulate the development of such babies and avoids stress, maybe we can reduce the risk of their developing ASD.

She also explained that the ideal development of a child?s brain takes place in the womb itself and premature birth may disturb the association of cerebral networks

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Further explanation of the study

As far as the neonatal intensive care is concerned, immense amount of advances have been made in this front. This has helped in improving survival rates in premature kids. However, extremely preterm babies who are born over 13 weeks early are at a much higher risk of developing autism, learning disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or AHDH and brain damage.

The researchers said that the brain of babies who are still in their mother?s womb are exposed to varied kinds of stressors during the critical phase of development. This can play a major role in onset of the mental disease known as autism.

For proper investigation of this matter, the researchers used MRI scans in order to examine the brain development of over 100 babies who were born before the start of the third trimester. When the kids reached the age of 6, the researchers scanned them to see whether they have had developed the symptoms of autism or not.

The findings which were published in the journal Cerebral Cortexfound suggested that the babies who developed autism were at a probability of experiencing complications or underwent surgical operations following their birth.

Long before the kids were diagnosed, however, investigators saw that condensed growth of parts of their brains concerned with language attainment, societal contact and empathy. They noted these functions are often damages among kids with autism.

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