Friday August 17, 2018

Autism Risk Increases In Fertility Treatments

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication

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Be Cautious During Fertility Treatment Planning. Pixabay
Be Cautious During Fertility Treatment Planning. Pixabay
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Be cautious while planning fertility treatment as it may increase the risk of autism in your child, a new study has found.

The researchers found that the odds of having a child on the autistic spectrum for those who underwent fertility treatments were 1.5 times higher than those who opted out of it, in the case of progesterone hormone therapy.

Progesterone is an embryonic steroid hormone needed for brain development. There is a hypothesis that it activates a genetic mechanism for the development of autism, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

For the study, the researchers, from the University of Haifa in Israel, included 108,548 boys — as boys have a higher risk of developing autism than girls.

Risk Of Autism Is 1.5 times higher If Undergone A Fertility Treatment. Pixabay
Risk Of Autism Is 1.5 times higher If Undergone A Fertility Treatment. Pixabay

The researchers also found that progesterone delivery before pregnancy may affect critical stages in fetal brain development.

In recent years, efforts have been made to identify the environmental factors that influence the development of autism. One of the directions that has not been thoroughly tested is the effect of fertility treatments, the report said.

Today there is a scientific and medical controversy. Some studies have found that there is no connection between fertility treatments and autism, especially IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatments. Other studies have linked to individual hormones and autism, the report added.

Also Read: Conquer The Problems Of Infertility By Visiting Reputed Fertility Clinic

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. (IANS)

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Researchers Have Successfully Created Artificial Placenta

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted.

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Artificial placenta created in lab using 3D printing. Flickr
Artificial placenta created in lab using 3D printing. Flickr

Using a high-resolution 3D printing process, Austrian researchers have succeeded in creating an artificial placenta barrier on a chip, a development that can be used to investigate important aspects of nutrient transport from the mother to the foetus.

The placenta ensures the exchange of important substances between the mother and her unborn child, whilst simultaneously blocking other substances from passing through.

“The transport of substances through biological membranes plays an important role in various areas of medicine,” said Aleksandr Ovsianikov, professor at the TU Wien university in Vienna.

“These include the blood-brain barrier, ingestion of food in the stomach and intestine, and also the placenta.”

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons
This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons

Studies have shown that diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure in the mother can affect the transport of substances to the foetus. Until now however, it has been almost impossible to investigate the way in which the many parameters involved interact in such cases.

Using the 3D printing made it possible to produce customised hydrogel membranes directly within microfluidic chips, which are then populated with placenta cells.

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place, the researchers said.

The novel chip consists of two areas — one represents the foetus, the other the mother. Using a specially developed femtosecond laser-based 3D printing process helped produce a partition between them — the artificial placenta membrane.

The high-resolution 3D printing involved a hydrogel with good biocompatibility.

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

“Based on the model of the natural placenta, we produce a surface with small, curved villi. The placenta cells can then colonise it, creating a barrier very similar to the natural placenta,” Ovsianikov explained.

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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