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Monday, August 10, 2015

IS TESTOSTERONE LINKED TO AUTISM?

Pregnancy Over 40, Autism and Testosterone

Autism seems to be in the media more now than ever and new theories seem to abound.
This article talks about how higher levels of testosterone may have some association with the disorder. This may also explain why the incidence of autism is higher in boys. Read more:

Of the 452 women contacted, 235 completed and returned both questionnaires and were included in this study. The researchers measured IQ using a standard test in a subgroup of 74 children whose mothers agreed to bring them in for cognitive testing.

The researchers then looked at the levels of testosterone found in the amniotic fluid taken during amniocentesis. The researchers used statistical tests to assess whether there was any relationship between testosterone levels in the womb, and the children’s IQ and levels of autistic traits.

SEE ALSO: PREGNANCY OVER 40 (getpregnantover40.com)

The researchers also looked at girls and boys separately to see if gender had any effect. The researchers also took into account various factors that might affect their results, such as the mothers’ age, duration of the pregnancies when the amniocentesis was carried out (usually between 14 and 22 weeks), parental education, having an older sibling, and child age at the time of the questionnaire.

What were the results of the study? The researchers found that, as expected, the amniotic fluid in pregnancies carrying males had higher testosterone levels than in pregnancies carrying girls. At age 6-10 boys showed higher levels of autistic traits than girls.

Children whose amniotic fluid contained higher levels of testosterone had stronger autistic traits, as indicated by higher scores on the CAST and AQ-Child questionnaires. The researchers found similar results if they looked at boys and girls separately on the AQ-Child, but on the CAST measure, foetal testosterone levels were only associated with levels of autistic traits in boys, not girls.

from:  Testosterone linked to autism

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