Have Researchers Found a Possible Cause of Autism?

Most people know someone, or know of someone, who has been affected by Autism. The prevalence of Autism, the diagnosis of Autism, or both, seem to be rising, and so too do the questions about what causes the condition.

There are still many unknowns and much debate about the different potential causes of Autism, though many experts agree that there are both genetic and environmental factors that may be in play. A recent study found that a third factor may also cause autism. Specifically, the study found that Autism may be caused by birth injuries. Autism, it is thought, may be caused by factors related to oxygen deprivation at birth.

Birth Injury Autism Study

The study, published in the Journal Pediatrics, found that the following factors may cause difficult or high-risk deliveries and may result in an Autism-related birth injury:
  • Neonatal anemia
  • Meconium aspiration 
  • Babies with blood type incompatible with their mothers
  • Babies that weigh less than 3 pounds 3 ounces at birth
  • Maternal hemorrhage
  • Congenital malformations
  • Breech or other abnormal birth presentations
  • Multiple births
  • A low Apgar score at 5 minutes post birth
  • Umbilical cord complications 
  • Fetal distress 
  • Birth via Cesarean Section

The study also concluded that the following birth complications are not associated with a higher risk of Autism:
  • High birth weight
  • Use of anesthesia during labor
  • Assisted vaginal births (such as with forceps or vacuums)
  • Being born late
  • The size of the baby's head

What Does This Study Mean
This study means that there may be a connection between oxygen deprivation at birth, birth injuries and Autism and it means that further research in this area may be needed. It also means that if Autism can be linked to a birth injury that children with Autism and their families may have legal rights. For more information, please contact a New York birth injury attorney for a free consultation. You can reach an experienced New York birth injury lawyer at 1-800-PAGAN-911 to learn more.

*Source: Birth Complications Linked to Autism Study: Factors Related to Oxygen Deprivation, Fetal Growth May Be Associated With Autism By Brenda Goodman WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

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