2012-08-26

Age of Parents Implicated in Autism - More Data


Earlier in June I posted Dr. Esther Berko's comments about the age of parents as a risk for autism. A while ago the age of the fathers had already been studied and with results indicating a positive correlation. This week new data implicating the age of fathers was widely publicized. At the end of the day, it cannot be a surprise (but always great to have scientific confirmation / replication). 

Age of parents is correlated with several abnormalities. Proportionally older parents have more children with abnormalities. Still most children with autism are born to young parents (because young parents have more children / people have children more often when they are young). And because the women's eggs have been made the culprits for so long, some are feeling that justice has been made and men also have to start worrying about the biological clock.

This from The New York Times
There was convincing evidence, the study concluded, that — in a fraction of cases — increased mutations found in the sperm of older men meant that they were more likely than their younger counterparts to father children with autism or schizophrenia.
Dr. Wiznitzer in a 2012 interview, transcript available @ American Academy of Pediatrics:
Number three, parents need to recognize, yes, there are some risk factors, for instance, older parent age. Certain medications are potential risk factors, but the vast majority of parents are not on these medications. The odds are you’re not going to have a child with this condition. And if you do, early identification and appropriate intervention is helpful.