Saturday August 18, 2018

Prenatal Fish Consumption NOT Linked to Autism Risk in Babies

The researchers also found poor social cognition if mothers ate no fish at all, especially for baby girls

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Prenatal Fish Consumption NOT Linked to Autism Risk in Babies
Prenatal Fish Consumption NOT Linked to Autism Risk in Babies. Pixabay
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Instead of increasing risk of autism, eating fish twice a week during pregnancy may actually give newborns several nutritional benefits, suggests a new research.

The findings — published in journal Molecular Autism — found no evidence to support claims that mercury in fish is linked to the development of autism or autistic traits in newborns.

“All species of fish contain traces of mercury, which can harm brain development, but we have found that the health benefits of fish, probably from nutrients such as vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and iodine, outweigh the risks from mercury,” said co-author Caroline Taylor from the University of Bristol in Britain.

For the study, the researchers examined the assumption that mercury exposure during pregnancy is a major cause of autism, using evidence from nearly 4,500 women.

They analysed blood samples, reported fish consumption and gathered information on autism and autistic traits from one of the largest longitudinal studies to date.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The researchers also found poor social cognition if mothers ate no fish at all, especially for baby girls.

“Our findings further endorse the safety of eating fish during pregnancy. Importantly, we’ve found no evidence at all to support claims that mercury is involved in the development of autism or autistic traits,” said lead author Jean Golding, Professor at the University of Bristol.

Also Read: Gene Responsible For Autism Identified

“This adds to a body of work that endorses eating of fish during pregnancy for a good nutritional start to life with at least two fish meals a week,” Golding noted. (IANS)

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Tdap Vaccinations Do Not Pose a Risk of Autism

The link between vaccination and development of autism has been refuted by many rigorous scientific investigations. Unfortunately, the misconceptions still generate concerns.

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Prenatal Tdap vaccination does not increase autism risk: Study
As the mPFC is crucial for high-level cognitive functions, reduced cognitive flexibility is observed in developmental disorders such as autism. Pixabay

Administering Tdap vaccination — tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis — to pregnant women may not increase children’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, claims a study of more than 80,000 children born.

The study showed that the autism spectrum disorder rate in children was 1.5 per cent in the maternal Tdap vaccinated group and 1.8 per cent in the maternal unvaccinated group.

“Infants are at the highest risk of hospitalization and death among any population subgroup after contracting a pertussis infection, a highly contagious respiratory disease also known as the whooping cough,” said lead author Tracy A. Becerra-Culqui, a post-doctoral research student at Kaiser Permanente- a US-based health care company.

there is no indication of an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children after being exposed prenatally to the Tdap vaccine
There is no indication of an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children after being exposed prenatally to the Tdap vaccine.

“Pregnant women can be reassured by this study that there is no indication of an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children after being exposed prenatally to the Tdap vaccine,” Becerra-Culqui added.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at the autism diagnosis for nearly 82,000 children.

The Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices, which provides guidance on the use of vaccines for the US, recommends pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine to prevent pertussis infection, but some women still hesitate.

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

“The link between vaccination and development of autism has been refuted by many rigorous scientific investigations. Unfortunately, the misconceptions still generate concerns,” the researchers said. (IANS)