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Autism Risk Doubles When Parent Has Mental Illness?


Advocates and scientists may differ in their thoughts of what causes autism, which is now said to affect an estimated one in 150 American children, but both sides seem passionate about finding a cure.

A recent study is shedding some light on the notion that genes and environment may have something to do with the brain development disorder that impairs communication and social interaction. To see the findings, read more.

A MSNBC article on the findings said:

"Our research shows that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked on the study.

It remains unclear as to whether a mother suffering from mental illness has more bearing than if the father does.

It also said:

The association between a child's autism and mental illness in the parent was strongest with schizophrenia, and was less powerful when the mother suffered from depression or personality disorders. There was little association between autism and parental addiction to alcohol or drugs or some other types of mental illness.

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