Autism Factors – Part A

I am planning to update my knowledge of Autism by reviewing recent literature. Taking different scopes in each set.

Before birth factors

  • Prenatal exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances increases risk [2021]
    • “People are most likely exposed to these chemicals by consuming PFAS-contaminated water or food, using products made with PFAS, or breathing air containing PFAS.” [National Institute of Health]
    • “High maternal exposure to PFAS was consistently associated with increased abundance of Methanobrevibacter smithii in maternal stool. ” with some association to the infant microbiome. [2023]
  • “Valproic acid (VPA) was reported to increase the prevalence of ASD in humans as a consequence of its use during pregnancy. ” [2020] [2017]
  • “Maternal prenatal antifungal use and frequent prenatal antibiotic use are associated with an increased risk of ADHD in offspring” [2023] [2023] [2021] [2019]
  • “Children of mothers with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) have high rates of preterm-birth (gestational age < 37 weeks) and small-for-gestational-age (SGA), both of which are risk factors of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ” [2023]
  • “maternal prenatal exposure to lithium from naturally occurring drinking water sources in Denmark was associated with an increased ASD risk in the offspring.” [2023] [2023]
  • “We found the previously reported relationship between precipitation and autism in a county was dependent on the amount of drinking water derived from surface sources in the county.” [2012]
    • Comment: PFAS etc. is more likely to be present in surface sources
  • In animal studies:
    • Arsenic [2020]
    • Glyphosate [2021] – a widely used herbicide, “Roundup”
    • Environmental Pollutants [2015]
    • Water chlorination byproducts [2011]

After birth – early factors

  • How was the infant fed? [2023], [2021] [2023]
    • Exclusive breastfeeding had lowest incidence
    • Partial breastfeeding had medium incidence
    • Exclusive formula feeding had highest incidence
  • “women who gave birth by caesarean delivery were more likely to stop exclusive breastfeeding in the first 4 months, and those children who were not exclusively breastfed at 4 months were more likely to have autism-like behaviours “[2022]
  • “Children with ASD have a shorter duration of breastfeeding, a later introduction of complementary foods, and poorer acceptance of complementary foods than typical children…The research suggests that continued breastfeeding for longer than 12 months may be beneficial in reducing ASD symptoms” [2023]
  • “Difficulties during breastfeeding, breast milk refusal and avoidance of taking solids have been linked to ASD. Infants with ASD have been referred to as picky eaters. Problematic mealtime behaviour during infancy has also been associated with ASD.” [2022]
  • “Constipation in early childhood was correlated with a significantly increased risk of ASD.” [2023]
  • “Compared with children who did not use antibiotics during the first year of life, those who received antibiotics had a reduced risk of ASD ” [2018]
    • Comment: Could the antibiotics inhibit microbiome shifts contributing to autism?

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