The amount of children with autism has increased in recent decades and the parents of these children face many difficult challenges in their daily lives. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is generally related to genetic factors, but no specific gene has yet been identified.

Aim

Researchers at Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden published in a new study to investigate whether premature babies has an increased risk of autism. More than 100 prematured babies were studied with MRI in their neonate period until the age of six for autistic futures.

Results/Conclusion

The results show that almost 30% of them developed ASD. They also show that babies born prematurely more than 13 weeks are at high risk for brain damage both in neonate period and later in childhood, which can lead to autism, ADHD and learning difficulties.

The study suggest that birth weight and complications increase risk of autism. The study also suggest that environmental changes may also cause ASD. Certain regimes and avoiding stress for these babies may possibly reduce the risk of developing ASD.

Reference