Intake of Antidepressants by Expecting Mothers Can Cause Autism in the Baby

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Depressed mother on antidepressants increase autism risk in baby

According to a study conducted by a team of researchers in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, expecting mothers should stay away from antidepressants since the drugs might cause autism in babies. The study team was lead by Lisa A. Croen. The survey that took into consideration both normal and depressed mothers and their children has proven that the risk of autism increases substantially when the mother is on antidepressants. According to another study conducted on autism, environmental or surrounding factors during the growing stages in the womb plays a vital role in developing autism in the child.

Details of the study

To study the relation between depressed mothers and incidence of autism in babies, the team of researchers studies two hundred and ninety eight children who has symptoms of autism. The mental and psychological health of their mothers was also considered. Besides these, one thousand five hundred and seven children and their mothers were studied to come to conclusions that are more concrete. Women who required these drugs were prescribed different formulae to study whether there was a particular element in the antidepressant responsible for autism.

Drug administration

Only selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were prescribed to 65% of the mother. A combination of an antidepressant and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor was prescribed to 10% of the mothers and only antidepressants with non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor were given to the remaining 25%. Twenty mothers were selected for this study and were tagged as case mothers. The other fifty women who were tagged as “control mothers” were also similar drugs were administered.

Results of the study

According to the study, majority of children with autism had mothers who took antidepressants. In fact, twice as many mothers who had children with autism were on antidepressant drugs. The study took into consideration a duration of a year before delivery.

Conditions in the womb affect autism incidence

The anesthetic influence of antidepressants on the mental health and nerves of the mother can have drastic consequences on the mental development of the child. In a parallel study conducted on twins on the issue of autism, it was found that in both identical and fraternal twins who share genes, environmental factors were at least as significant as genetic factors. With the study by Lisa and group, it has been established that presence of antidepressant compounds in the blood stream of mother influence the mental growth the child. These studies are a step towards solving the controversial issue of autism.