Mothers

Placental Regulation of Maternal-fetal Interactions and Brain Development

Source: 
Developmental Neurobiology
Date Published: 
August 23, 2012
Abstract: 

"A variety prenatal insults are associated with the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and cerebral palsy. While the precise mechanisms underlying how transient gestational challenges can lead to later life dysfunctions are largely unknown, the placenta is likely to play a key role. The literal interface between maternal and fetal cells resides in the placenta, and disruptions to the maternal or intrauterine environment are necessarily conveyed to the developing embryo via the placenta. Placental cells bear the responsibility of promoting maternal tolerance of the semiallogeneic fetus and regulating selective permeability of nutrients, gases, and antibodies, while still providing physiological protection of the embryo from adversity. The placenta's critical role in modulating immune protection and the availability of nutrients and endocrine factors to the offspring implicates its involvement in autoimmunity, growth restriction and hypoxia, all factors associated with the development of neurological complications. In this review, we summarize primary maternal-fetal interactions that occur in the placenta and describe pathways by which maternal insults can impair these processes and disrupt fetal brain development. We also review emerging evidence for placental dysfunction in the prenatal programming of neurodevelopmental disorders."

Age at Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Journal of Pediatrics
Date Published: 
June 9, 2012
Abstract: 

"Early identification of autism has become a national priority but, despite efforts, there are children who are being identified at a later age. In this study, children of Hispanic and African American origin, foreign-born children, and children born to foreign mothers were more likely to be diagnosed later."

Prenatal Versus Postnatal Sex Steroid Hormone Effects on Autistic Traits in Children at 18 to 24 Months of Age

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
December 11, 2012
Abstract: 

Cambridge researchers are investigating the link between pre- and postnatal hormone levels and autistic traits later in life.

Exploratory Study Examines Infections, Pregnancy, Autism Risks

Source: 
USA Today
Date Published: 
November 12, 2012
Abstract: 

Study examines potential links between maternal infections during pregnancy and autism. The chief of the CDC's Developmental Disabilities Branch says "for now, the standard clinical recommendations for treating pregnant women suffering from fever or flu should not change as a result of [these] new preliminary findings."

Cognition and behavior: Fragile X Carriers Show Autism Signs

Source: 
Simons Foundation Austism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
July 27,2012
Abstract: 

According to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Women who have a milder version of the fragile X mutation, which can lead to the full mutation in their children, have some features of autism.

The Economic Impact of Autism on Families

Source: 
The Atlantic
Date Published: 
May 31, 2012
Abstract: 

Interesting article about the financial impacts of autism on American families from The Atlantic.

Fever During Pregnancy May Raise Odds for Autism in Offspring

Source: 
Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study
Date Published: 
June 1, 2012
Abstract: 

According to a new study from the University of California at Davis, moms who had a fever from any cause during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to have a child with autism or another developmental delay, when compared with moms who did not run fever during pregnancy. Moms who had the flu during pregnancy were not at greater risk for having children with autism or another developmental delay.

According to a new study from the University of California at Davis, moms who had a fever from any cause during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to have a child with autism or another developmental delay, when compared with moms who did not run fever during pregnancy. Moms who had the flu during pregnancy were not at greater risk for having children with autism or another developmental delay.

The findings are culled from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study. This is the same dataset that recently led to a report that moms who are obese or have diabetes may be at higher risk for having children with autism. The common denominator between diabetes, obesity and fever is inflammation.

Study Warns Of Autism Risk For Children Of Obese Mothers

Source: 
NPR
Date Published: 
April 9, 2012
Abstract: 

A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem.

Gene Studies of Autism Point to Mutations and Parents’ Age

Source: 
New York Times
Date Published: 
April 4, 2012
Abstract: 

Three teams of scientists working independently to understand the biology of autism have for the first time homed in on several gene mutations that they agree sharply increase the chances that a child will develop the disorder, and have found further evidence that the risk increases with the age of the parents, particularly the father.

With autism rising, researchers step up hunt for a cause

Source: 
USA Today
Date Published: 
April 3, 2012
Abstract: 

For many families, the quest for the causes of autism has grown more urgent with the news that the estimated prevalence of the condition grew by 23% from 2006 to 2008, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said last week.