Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study explores links between smoking during pregnancy, autism

27.04.2012
Women who smoke in pregnancy may be more likely to have a child with high-functioning autism, such as Asperger’s Disorder, according to preliminary findings from a study by researchers involved in the U.S. autism surveillance program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills,” says Amy Kalkbrenner, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, lead author of the study. “What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during pregnancy.”

The study was published April 25, 2012, in an advance online release by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Smoking during pregnancy is still common in the U.S. despite its known harmful impacts on babies. Kalkbrenner found that 13 percent of mothers whose children were included in the study had smoked during pregnancy.

Kalkbrenner and colleagues’ population-based study compared smoking data from birth certificates of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism maintained by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDMN). Of the 633,989 children, born in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998, 3,315 were identified as having an autism spectrum disorder at age 8.

“The study doesn’t say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for autism,” Kalkbrenner says. “But it does say that if there is an association, it’s between smoking and certain types of autism,” implicating the disorders on the autism spectrum that are less severe and allow children to function at a higher level. That connection, she adds, needs further study.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and several studies of possible links between environmental factors and autism are being published by Environmental Health Perspectives at the same time as Kalkbrenner’s study. “The CDC recently released data indicating that 1 in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, making such environmental studies even more timely,” says Kalkbrenner.

Because autism involves a broad spectrum of conditions and the interplay of genetics and environment is so complex, no one study can explain all the causes of autism, she adds. “The goal of this work is to help provide a piece of the puzzle. And in this we were successful.”

For a pdf of the study, go to: http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104556.

In addition to lead author Kalkbrenner, co-authors include: Joe Braun, Harvard School of Public Health; Maureen Durkin, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health; Matthew Maenner, Waisman Center at UW-Madison; Christopher Cunniff, University of Arizona College of Medicine; Li-Ching Lee, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Sydney Pettygrove, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona; Joyce Nicholas, Medical University of South Carolina; and Julie Daniels, UNC Gillings School of Public Health.

Other research articles published April 25 in Environmental Health Perspectives show that polychlorinated biphenyls disrupt early brain development by interfering with the signals that promote normal neuron branching. A review article suggests research directions for exploring a potential link between pesticides and autism. An editorial calls for increased discovery research to identify possible environmental causes of autism in America’s children.

“PCB 95 Promotes Dendritic Growth via Ryanodine Receptor-Dependent Mechanisms”
http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104832

“PCB 95 Modulates Calcium-Dependent Signaling Pathway Responsible for Activity-Dependent Dendritic Growth”
http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104833

“Tipping the Balance of Autism Risk: Potential Mechanisms Linking Pesticides and Autism”
http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104553

“A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities”

http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104285

Amy Kalkbrenner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uwm.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht UC San Diego cancer scientists identify new drug target for multiple tumor types
12.07.2019 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Bacteria engineered as Trojan horse for cancer immunotherapy
04.07.2019 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

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: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

Im Focus: Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts: Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...

Im Focus: The secret of mushroom colors

Mushrooms: Darker fruiting bodies in cold climates

The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species. Hitherto, the purpose of these colors was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Neutrino-Observatorium IceCube am Südpol wird ausgebaut

17.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Atacama Desert: Some lichens can meet their need for water from air humidity

17.07.2019 | Life Sciences

New DFG Research Group "Metrology for THz Communications"

17.07.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>