Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Autism and schizophrenia share common origin

16.12.2008
First month of pregnancy forms the basis for disrupted development
Schizophrenia and autism probably share a common origin, hypothesises Dutch researcher Annemie Ploeger following an extensive literature study.

The developmental psychologist demonstrated that both mental diseases have similar physical abnormalities which are formed during the first month of pregnancy.

Peculiar toes
Developmental psychologist Annemie Ploeger has investigated whether there is a connection between disorders in the first month of pregnancy and the development of schizophrenia and autism. Interestingly, many physical abnormalities of autistics are also prevalent in schizophrenics. For example, both autistics and schizophrenics sometimes have protruding ears and peculiar toes. There are also differences: a large head and intestinal problems, for example, are typical traits occurring in autistics. From this, Ploeger concluded that the two disorders share a common origin. The same error that occurs very early in pregnancy develops into autism in one individual and schizophrenia in another.
Early vulnerability
Ploeger's research reveals that in the period between 20 and 40 days after fertilisation, the embryo is highly susceptible to disruptions. In this period, early organogenesis, there is a lot of interaction between the different parts of the body. If something goes wrong with a given part of the body, it greatly influences the development of other parts of the body. As people with schizophrenia and autism frequently have physical abnormalities to body parts formed during early organogenesis, Ploeger concluded that the foundation for these psychiatric disorders is laid very early during pregnancy.

The existence of a relationship between unhealthy behaviour during pregnancy and the subsequent development of schizophrenia and autism in the child was already known. However, Ploeger's hypothesis that the early organogenesis stage is the most critical, is new. Ploeger bases her hypothesis on an extensive study of scientific literature in this area. She often had to make use of related studies; although a lot of research has been done into prenatal influences on the development of schizophrenia and autism, little is known about the influence that the period between 20 to 40 days after fertilisation has.

Toxic pregnancy medicine
For example, she acquired information about autism from a study into softenon use. Softenon is a drug against morning sickness that was administered to women in the 1960s and 1970s. Later it was discovered that severely disabled children were born as a result of this medicine. Autistic children were born in four percent of pregnancies in which softenon was used, whereas normally this figure is 0.1 percent. Women could state exactly when they started to take softenon. The women who had taken softenon between the 20th and 24th day of the pregnancy had the greatest chance of giving birth to an autistic child.

Ploeger advises women to stop risky behaviour such as smoking, medicine use and stressful activities before they even become pregnant. If you only start to live healthily once you know that you are pregnant, the basis for a disrupted development of your child could already have been laid.

Ploeger's research was partly financed by NWO is within the research programme Evolution and Behaviour.

Kim van den Wijngaard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOA_7LPL4Q_Eng

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>