Taking antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of autism in children by 87%. The conclusions of one extensive research are important as 6 to 10% of pregnant women receive antidepressants to put depression under control, emphasize the scientists who analyzed the medical records of 145,456 pregnant women.
The different causes of autism are still unknown, but it turned out that genetics and environment may also be risk factors. The research has shown that taking antidepressants, especially those that influence on the secretion of serotonin, in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, extremely increases the risk of autism in children.
The researches followed the 145,456 children from birth to the age of ten, checking if the mothers during pregnancy were taking antidepressants. The study included other factors that might contribute to the development of autism, as some people are genetically predisposed to the disease. Maternal age and depression were also related to the development of autism, as well as some socio-economic factors.
They followed the children diagnosed with autism, and check the medical records of their mothers. Autism was diagnosed in 1.054 children in average age of 4,5 years or 0,72 %.
The occurrence of autism in children in last 50 years is highly increased. In 1966, 4 children in 10.000 had autism while now days the rate is 100 children in 10.000. Although this increase can partially be due to much better detection and broader diagnostic criteria, scientist assess that the environment factors have significant role.
The scientists were focused in second and third trimester because this is the time when the brain passes through the key phase of development when the antidepressants can endanger the ability of the brain to develop completely.
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