Saturday December 7, 2019

Research Shows that People with Genetic Autism are Likely to Report Self-Harm Thoughts

For the study, the research team calculated the genetic likelihood for autism in 100,000 individuals from the UK Biobank Study

0
//
Autism
Those with the highest genetic predisposition to Autism on an average have 28 per cent increase in childhood maltreatment and a 33 per cent increase in self-harm and suicidal ideation compared to those with the lowest genetic predisposition to Autism. Pixabay

People with a higher genetic likelihood of autism are more likely to report higher childhood maltreatment, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, according to a new study by an Indian-origin researcher.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, shows that the findings hold true even for those with a higher genetic likelihood of autism rather than a formal diagnosis.

Previous studies from the University of Cambridge established that autistic individuals experience higher levels of self-harm, including suicidal thoughts and feelings, and higher rates of childhood maltreatment.

“This new study extends our earlier work by showing that individuals who carry more of the genes associated with autism have higher risks for maltreatment and self-harm,” said study researcher Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor at University of Cambridge.

“Our work highlighting unacceptably higher rates of suicide in autistic people was published 5 years ago, yet almost no new support has been provided,” Baron-Cohen added.

For the study, the research team calculated the genetic likelihood for autism in 100,000 individuals from the UK Biobank Study who had their DNA analysed and had also provided self-reported information about childhood maltreatment, suicidal ideation and self-harm.

Those with the highest genetic predisposition to autism on an average have 28 per cent increase in childhood maltreatment and a 33 per cent increase in self-harm and suicidal ideation compared to those with the lowest genetic predisposition to autism.

Autism
This new study extends our earlier work by showing that individuals who carry more of the genes associated with Autism have higher risks for maltreatment and self-harm. Pixabay

“While we have found an association between a genetic likelihood for autism and adverse life events, we cannot conclude the former causes the latter,” said study lead author and Indian-origin researcher Varun Warrier.

“We suspect this association reflects that genes partly influence how many autistic traits you have, and some autistic traits such as difficulties in social understanding may lead to a person to be vulnerable to maltreatment, Warrier added.

ALSO READ: Activists Gather along to Demand Cleaning of River Yamuna

This research highlights the risks of such adverse outcomes for those with a high number of autistic traits, if adequate safeguarding and support aren’t provided. (IANS)

Next Story

Generalised Anxiety Disorder During Teenage Can Lead to Harmful Drinking Habits

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking

0
Anxiety
Research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as Anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised Anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence strengthens the evidence for a relationship between anxiety and later alcohol use as the researchers accounted for other factors such as adolescent smoking and cannabis use, and parental anxiety and alcohol use.

“Helping adolescents to develop positive strategies for coping with anxiety, instead of drinking alcohol, may reduce the risk of future harmful drinking. However, we cannot determine if the relationship is causal, because we used an observational study design,” said Maddy Dyer.

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking, frequent bingeing, hazardous drinking, and harmful drinking at age 18.

Generalised anxiety disorder continued to be associated with harmful drinking at age 21.

Drinking to cope was also strongly associated with more harmful drinking, but it did not appear to influence associations between anxiety and alcohol use.

Harmful drinking was measured using a special test developed by the World Health Association.

On average, adolescents with anxiety drank at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not.

Anxiety
Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised Anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later. Pixabay

“Our own research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex,” said Mark Leyshon, Senior Policy and Research Manager at Alcohol Change UK.

For example, anxiety can be both a result of stopping drinking and a risk factor in beginning to drink too much, as this new study suggests.

ALSO READ: Apple To Fix Popping Sound Issue With its New 16-inch MacBook Pro

“We need more research to help us better understand the connections between alcohol and mental health, as well as high-quality, accessible, integrated support for substance misuse and mental health issues,” Leyshon added. (IANS)