Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Fetal Spectrum Disorder and Autism Have Similar Molecular Vulnerabilities

By Vishakha Sonawane / Jun 15, 2013 09:51 AM EDT
  • Autism
  • (Photo : REUTERS) A latest study states that fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), that are neurodevelopmental in origin, might have some similar molecular vulnerabilities

A latest study states that fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), that are neurodevelopmental in origin, might have some similar molecular vulnerabilities.

Researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Ill., conducted a test on pregnant rats and exposed them to alcohol. They later found that the baby rats showed signs of social impairment and had evidence of altered genes, which showed links to autism in human beings.

Like Us on Facebook

"The novel finding here is that these two disorders share molecular vulnerabilities, and if we understand those, we are closer to finding treatments," Eva Redei, the senior author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a press release.

The researchers also gave low doses of thyroid hormone thyroxin to these pregnant alcohol-exposed rats and found that the alcohol damage was reduced and reversed the expression of autism-related genes in the baby rats.

Dr Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com said that they hoped the findings will make researchers explore the potential for thyroxin to be utilized in patients who are at risk for having an autistic child.

"We're still poor at identifying patients at risk for autism, but now we now there is family history, sibling history and some genetic deletions strongly associated with autism," Alvarez said. "One could argue that perhaps in patients at risk for having an autistic child, after more human studies, the prophylactic use of thyroxin can help prevent the neural behavioral changes of autism."

© 2014 ParentHerald.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Antibiotics in infancy may be linked to childhood obesity: study

Kids who receive several rounds of antibiotics before age two may be at an increased risk of being overweight by age five, suggests a new study.

Read More »

U.S. military to quickly ramp up Ebola mission in Liberia

A Doctors Without Borders health worker takes off his protective gear under the surveillance of a colleague at a treatment facility for Ebola victims in Monrovia September 29, 2014.

Read More »

World must do more to battle Ebola in West Africa: Obama

1 of 2. Health workers surround an Ebola patient who escaped from quarantine from Monrovia's Elwa hospital, in the centre of Paynesville in this still image taken from a September 1, 2014 video.

Read More »

Health benefits of parkrun stretch well beyond the physical

Participants take part in a parkrun event at Bushy Park in London August 2, 2014.

Read More »

Money talks: Obamacare initiative makes headway in Republican states

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration.

Read More »

Doctor calls for blood donations to treat Liberian Ebola victims

1 of 2. Health workers surround an Ebola patient who escaped from quarantine from Monrovia's Elwa hospital, in the centre of Paynesville in this still image taken from a September 1, 2014 video.

Read More »

U.S. hospitals unprepared to handle Ebola waste

1 of 3. An isolation room at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is shown in this undated file handout photo courtesy of Emory Hospital.

Read More »

Sierra Leone wraps up three-day Ebola lockdown

An empty street is seen at the start of a three-day national lockdown in Freetown September 19, 2014.

Read More »

Cerner and Athenahealth say integrating with Apple's mobile health service

The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.

Read More »

White House calls for task force to tackle antibiotic-resistant bugs

A medical technician prepares samples in the specimen set-up area of the Vanderbilt Clinical Microbiology Lab in Nashville, Tennessee on October 19, 2012.

Read More »

U.N. to deploy Ebola mission as death toll reaches 2,630

1 of 3. Health workers remove the body of Prince Nyentee, a 29-year-old man whom local residents said died of Ebola virus in Monrovia September 11, 2014.

Read More »

IMF says Ebola hits economic growth in West Africa

A fan of Ivory coast holds a sign with a message against Ebola during the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match between Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan September 6, 2014.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics