"It is very possible that PATERNAL AGE is the major predictor of(non-familial) autism." Harry Fisch, M.D., author "The Male Biological Clock". Sperm DNA mutates and autism, schizophrenia bipolar etc. results. What is the connection with autoimmune disorders? Having Type 1 diabetes, SLE,etc. in the family, also if mother had older father. NW Cryobank will not accept a sperm donor past 35th BD to minimize genetic abnormalities.VACCINATIONS also cause autism.

Friday, July 31, 2009

CDC May Release 1 in 100 Autism Incidence and Call Autism Epidemic

CDC May Release 1 in 100 Autism Incidence and Call Autism Epidemic

One autism mom is reporting the following:

"We had an ASA Board member go to the national ASA Convention-new CDC numbers are 1:100 births. CDC considers it an epidemic...soon to be released, but not sure when. 1:66 births in military families. I just want to cry. How long until there are MORE people ON the spectrum than people NOT on the spectrum??!?"

Let's see if she is right and CDC is ready to start to actually calling a duck, a duck.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

De novo apparently balanced translocations in man are predominantly paternal in origin and associated with a significant increase in paternal age

J Med Genet. 2009 Jul 27. [Epub ahead of print]
De novo apparently balanced translocations in man are predominantly paternal in origin and associated with a significant increase in paternal age.Thomas NS, Morris JK, Baptista J, Ng BL, Crolla JA, Jacobs PA.
Salisbury District Hospital, United Kingdom.

BACKGROUND: Congenital chromosome abnormalities are relatively common in our species and among structural abnormalities the most common class is balanced reciprocal translocations. Determining the parental origin of de novo balanced translocations may provide insights into how and when they arise. While there is a general paternal bias in the origin of non-recurrent unbalanced rearrangements, there are few data on parental origin of non-recurrent balanced rearrangements. METHODS: The parental origin of a series of de novo balanced reciprocal translocations was determined using DNA from flow sorted derivative chromosomes and linkage analysis. RESULTS: Of 27 translocations, we found 26 to be of paternal origin and only one of maternal origin. We also found the paternally derived translocations to be associated with a significantly increased paternal age (p<0.008). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest there is a very marked paternal bias in the origin of all non-recurrent reciprocal translocations and that they may arise during one of the numerous mitotic divisions that occur in the spermatogonial germ cells prior to meiosis.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Repeat Post a Great Article

Older fathers appear to raise risks of genetic disorders
By Roni Rabin
Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 When it comes to fertility and the prospect of having normal babies, it has always been assumed that men have no biological clock — that unlike women, they can have it all, at any age.

But mounting evidence is raising questions about that assumption, suggesting that as men get older, they face an increased risk of fathering children with abnormalities. Several recent studies are starting to persuade many doctors that men should not be too cavalier about postponing marriage and children.

Until now, the problems known to occur more often with advanced paternal age were so rare they received scant public attention. The newer studies were alarming because they found higher rates of more common conditions — including autism and schizophrenia — in offspring born to men in their middle and late 40s. A number of studies also suggest that male fertility may diminish with age.

"Obviously there is a difference between men and women; women simply can't have children after a certain age," said Dr. Harry Fisch, director of the Male Reproductive Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and the author of "The Male Biological Clock."

"But not every man can be guaranteed that everything's going to be fine," Fisch said. "Fertility will drop for some men, others will maintain their fertility but not to the same degree, and there is an increased risk of genetic abnormalities."

It's a touchy subject. "Advanced maternal age" is formally defined: women who are 35 or older when they deliver their baby may have "AMA" stamped on their medical files to call attention to the higher risks they face. But the concept of "advanced paternal age" is murky. Many experts are skeptical about the latest findings, and doctors appear to be in no rush to set age guidelines or safety perimeters for would-be fathers, content instead to issue vague sooner-rather-than- later warnings.

"The problem is that the data is very sparse right now," said Dr. Larry Lipschultz, a specialist in the field of male infertility and a past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. "I don't think there's a consensus of what patients should be warned about."

And many men maintain their fertility, said Dr. Rebecca Sokol, president of the Society of Male Reproduction and Urology. "If you look at males over 50 or 40, yes, there is a decline in the number of sperm being produced, and there may be a decline in the amount of testosterone," Sokol said. But by and large, she added, "the sperm can still do their job."

Some advocates, however, welcome the attention being paid to the issue of male fertility, saying it is long overdue.

"The message to men is: 'Wake up,'" said Pamela Madsen, executive director of the American Fertility Association, a U.S. education and advocacy group. "It's not just about women anymore, it's about you, too."

Analyses of sperm samples from healthy men have found changes as men age, including increased fragmentation of DNA, and some studies outside the United States have noted increased rates of some cancers in children of older fathers.

Geneticists have been aware for decades that the risk of certain rare birth defects increases with the father's age. One of the most studied of these conditions is a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, but the list also includes neurofibromatosis, the connective tissues disorder Marfan syndrome, skull and facial abnormalities like Apert syndrome, and many other diseases and abnormalities.

Some studies suggest that the risk of sporadic single-gene mutations may be four to five times higher for fathers who are 45 and older, compared with fathers in their 20s, said Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, president-elect of the American College of Medical Genetics. Overall, having an older father is estimated to increase the risk of a birth defect by 1 percent, against a background 3 percent risk for a birth defect, he said.

Even grandchildren may be at greater risk for some conditions that are not expressed in the daughter of an older father, according to the American College of Medical Genetics. These include Duchenne muscular dystrophy, some types of hemophilia and fragile-X syndrome.

A recent study on autism attracted attention because of its striking findings. Researchers analyzed a large Israeli military database to determine whether there was a correlation between paternal age and the incidence of autism and related disorders. It found that children of men who became a father at 40 or older were 5.75 times as likely to have an autism disorder as those whose fathers were younger than 30.

"Until now, the dominant view has been, 'Blame it on the mother,'" said Dr. Avi Reichenberg, the lead author of the study, published in September in The Archives of General Psychiatry. "But we found a dose-response relationship: The older the father, the higher the risk. We think there is a biological mechanism that is linked to aging fathers."

A study on schizophrenia found that the risk of illness was doubled among children of fathers in their late 40s when compared with children of fathers under 25, and increased almost threefold in children born to fathers 50 and older. This study was also carried out in Israel, which maintains the kind of large centralized health databases required for such research. In this case, the researchers used a registry of 87,907 births in Jerusalem between 1964 and 1976, and linked the records with an Israeli psychiatric registry.

According to the study's calculations, the risk of schizophrenia was 1 in 141 in children of fathers under 25 years, 1 in 99 for fathers 30 to 35, and 1 in 47 for fathers 50 and older. The study found no association between older fathers and any other psychiatric conditions.

"When our paper came out, everyone said, 'They must have missed something,'" said an author of the study, Dr. Dolores Malaspina, chairwoman of the psychiatry department at New York University Medical Center. (Malaspina was also involved in the autism study.)

But studies elsewhere had similar findings, she said: a threefold increase in schizophrenia among offspring of older fathers.

Unlike women, who are born with a lifetime supply of eggs, men are constantly making new sperm. But the spermatogonia — the immature stem cells in the testes that replenish sperm — are constantly dividing and replicating, with each round of division creating another possibility for error.

While women have only about 24 divisions in the cells that produce their eggs, the cells that create sperm go through about 30 rounds of mitosis before puberty and through roughly 23 replications a year from puberty onward. By the time a man reaches 50, the cells that create his sperm have gone through more than 800 rounds of division and replication.

Skeptics say the studies find an association but do not prove a causal relationship between an older father's genetic material and autism or schizophrenia, and note that other factors related to having an older father could be at play, including different parenthood styles. Another possibility is that the father's own mental illness or autistic tendencies are responsible both for the late marriage and for the effect on the child.

But other findings suggest implications for older fathers. Another study by Malaspina and Reichenberg, also using Israeli army data, found a correlation between having an older father and lower scores on nonverbal, or performance, IQ tests.

Fisch analyzed a New York State database of births and found that older fathers added to the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome if the mother was over 35. (The father's age seemed to have no effect if the mother was younger; younger women may have compensated for any problems of the older male.) The paper concluded that the father's age was a contributing factor in 50 percent of Down syndrome cases in babies born to women over 40.

Meanwhile, scientists have reported that sperm counts decline with age, and that sperm begin to lose motility and the ability to swim in a straight line. The researchers also reported a steady increase in sperm DNA fragmentation as men grew older, with a 2 percent increase each year in the gene mutation associated with achondroplasia, the dwarfism syndrome. They found no correlation between advanced age and the kinds of chromosomal changes that cause Down syndrome, but suggested that a small proportion of older fathers may be at increased risk for transmitting multiple genetic and chromosomal defects.

Late fatherhood - fathering a child later in life

Late fatherhood - fathering a child later in life

Do men's biological clocks 'tick' too, and are there any risks in becoming an older father?
Whilst the average age of fathering a child is 32, recent figures from the UK's Office for National Statistics show that in 2004 more than 75,000 babies were born to fathers aged 40 and over - more than one in ten of all children born. Further, around 6,489 children a year are born to fathers aged fifty-plus.

According to US-based National Center for Health Statistics, in 2004 about 24 in every 1000 men aged 40 - 44 fathered a child. This is up almost 18% from a decade ago. Meanwhile, only 3 out of every 1,000 men aged 55 and older are fathers to live births.

Whilst the topic of "older fathers" is increasingly making headlines, what is perhaps less well-known is that there can be risks - both physical and mental - associated with fathering offspring later in life.

Recent research revealed that compared to younger dads, fathers in the older age group were more inclined to be less tolerant of their children's physical activities, perceiving them to be more impulsive and overactive. Older dads apparently also show less affection and warmth towards their partner. [Read about this study]

In July 2008, French scientists reported on a study of over 12,200 couples having fertility treatment and said they had found more evidence that men as well as women have biological clocks, and that they start to tick in their mid-30s.

They said that their eveidence suggested that the chance of a successful pregnancy falls when the man is aged over 35, and the chance is significantly lower if he is over 40.

Couples who had sought treatment for infertility at the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in Paris between January 2002 and December 2006 were the basis for the study. [Read more about this study]

Risk of autism in children born to older dads
A study recently published in the Archives of General Psychiatry concludes that the offspring of older fathers have a significantly increased risk of autism. The team of UK and US researchers said that children born to men over 40 had a six times higher risk than those born to men under 30. They also said the study was further proof men also had "biological clocks".

The mother's age did not appear to influence the chances a child would have autism, although previous studies into this have produced mixed results.

Rare birth disorders, schizophrenia & bipolar
The incidences of certain rare birth disorders, such as Dwarfism, or achondroplasia (a genetic disorder that affects bone growth and is the most common growth-related birth defect. It occurs in about one in every 25,000 births, affects all races, both males and females and limits their growth to about four feet), are more common amongst births to older fathers. Some of these defects, thought to be new mutations, are only detectable later in life, e.g. schizophrenia.

Researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons found that men aged 50 or over are three times more likely to father a child with schizophrenia compared to men of 25 or under, and men aged between 45 and 49 are twice as likely to have a child with the illness. The researchers estimated that as many as one in four cases of schizophrenia may be caused by the father being old.

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at records of almost 88,000 people born in Jerusalem between 1964 and 1976, and compared them to data from the Israel Psychiatric Register (part of the Israeli Ministry of Health).

Apert syndrome, which afflicts one in every 70,000 children who are born with fused bones in their heads, hands, and feet, is also linked to the father's age. Men in their 50s and 60s are 10 times as likely to carry and pass along the mutation as men under 30.

In a study carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, it was noted that the older an individual's father, the more likely he or she was to have bipolar disorder. Children of men 55 years and older were 1.37 times more likely to go on to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder than those of men aged 20 to 24. [Read more about this study].

Pre-term birth
A study published in the March 2005 issue of Epidemiology, revealed that the risk of preterm birth increases with paternal age. The authors studied couples and their first children, using nationwide registers in Denmark between 1980 and 1996.

Genetic abnormalities & limb defects
Because of the increased risk of genetic abnormalities in the offspring of older fathers, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has set an upper age limit of 40 years old for semen donors, whilst UK fertility clinics only accept sperm donations from men aged 39 and under.

Research published in November 2005, reveals that men aged 50 and above were more than four times more likely to have a child with Down syndrome and that older men are more likely to have babies with a variety of limb defects. Epidemiologist, Dr Jorn Olsen and his team from the University of California, Los Angeles, used the Danish Fertility Database, which holds information on 70,000 couples and their first born child, to look for differences in children with older fathers.

The finding caused concern among some fertility specialists, who saw the age of sperm donors increase with the government's abolition of sperm donor anonymity earlier this year. "With the change in the law, donors tend to be men who have already had their families," said Allan Pacey, a fertility expert at Sheffield University.

"But about a third of all births in the UK are from men who are older than 35 and, frankly, that's not the best sperm to use in fertility treatment. You want sperm from young, healthy guys that hasn't had time to build up defects."

Dr Olsen reported to New Scientist magazine that whilst the medical risks of starting families older are smaller for older fathers than for women approaching the menopause, the trend of couples starting families later in life means the issue of male age should be taken into consideration.

Research shows that old fathers are three times more likely to take regular responsibility for a
young child.
Jack O'Sullivan, Fathers Direct
Sperm quality deteriorates
A study published in June 2006 by Dr Andrew Wyrobek, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, found that the genetic quality of sperm deteriorates as a man gets older, becoming steadily more fragmented the older a man gets. DNA fragmentation is associated with greater infertility and a reduction in the chance of conceiving.

Each successive fragmentation introduces a slight risk of error in the genetic material of the new sperm, and this is then passed on to the child. These mutations are tiny and difficult to spot without knowing what mutations to look for. Abnormalities in women's eggs can be picked up more easily, as almost all divisions in a woman's eggs occur before she is born.

Dr Brenda Eskenazi, a co-author of the report, said: "Our research suggests that men, too, have a biological time clock - only it is different. Men seem to have a gradual, rather than an abrupt change in fertility and in the potential ability to produce viable, healthy offspring."

The study included at least 15 men from each age decade spanning 20 to 60 years, and 25 aged 60 to 80. Smokers and men who had fertility problems, or a history of cancer were excluded.

Higher risk of miscarriage
Research published in August 2006 suggests that women who become pregnant by older men are at far greater risk of having a miscarriage. The researchers, from the Columbia University School of Public Health in New York and led by Dr. Karine Kleinhaus, noted that the risk of miscarriage appeared to rise along with the father's age, regardless of how old the mother was. Even after a range of other risk factors which contribute to miscarriage were taken into account, such as smoking during pregnancy and maternal diabetes, the risk was still higher.

The study's authors analysed data from a survey of nearly 14,000 pregnant women undertaken in Jerusalem between 1964 and 1976. 1,500 of those women suffered miscarriages, whilst 12,000 carried their babies to term. The findings were reported in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The risk of losing a baby was 60 per cent higher when the father was aged 40 or over, compared to when he was 25 to 29 years old. It was also about three times greater when the man was aged between 35 and 39 years of age, than if he were younger than 25.

Dr Kleinhaus commented, "As child-bearing is increasingly delayed in Western societies, this study provides important information for people who are planning their families." However, researchers pointed out that despite this generally higher miscarriage rate, older paternal age may only slightly raise the risk to any one couple.

Longer to conceive
A study reported on in July 2000 in Human Reproduction and based on research carried out by teams at Bristol and Brunel universities in the UK, discovered that the older a man is the longer it may take his partner to conceive, regardless of her age. Women with partners five or more years older have less chance of conceiving within a year of trying than those whose partners are the same age, or younger. The odds of conceiving within 6 months of trying decrease by 2% for every year that the man is older than 24 years, and for conception within a year decrease by 3% for each year.

Lower Apgar score
A study published in the July 2006 issue of Epidemiology indicates that new fathers in their 40s and 50s are slightly more likely to have an infant with a low Apgar score than fathers in their 20s. The Apgar score, which was first created in 1952, rates the newborn on five parameters: respiratory effort, heart rate, reflex irritability, muscle tone, and skin color with a value of 0 to 2 (worst to best) for each. Thus, a total score of 10 is optimal. The score is calculated at 1 and 5 minutes after birth.

Statistics on older fathers
Since 1980, there has been about a 40 per cent increase in the number of men between 35 and 50 fathering children and a 20 per cent decrease in the number of fathers under 30. Data from the UK's Office For National Statistics (ONS) reveals that in 1971 the mean age of a father at birth was 27.2 years, but by 1999 this had risen to 30.1. Statistics from 1997 show that whilst the majority of fathers (151,162) were in the 30-34 age group, there were 41,459 fathers aged 40 to 65+ years.

Average age of fathers in Australia now 32.9 years
Australian fathers were an average of 32.9 years old - 2.8 years older than dads with newborns in 1985.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Squalene's Adverse Effects Swine Flu Vaccine

Micropaleontologist Dr. Viera Scheibner, who conducted research into the adverse effects of adjuvants in vaccines, wrote the following about squalene.

Squalene “contributed to the cascade of reactions called “Gulf War syndrome. (GIs developed) arthritis, fibromyalgia, lymphadenopathy, rashes, photosensitive rashes, malar rashes, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, abnormal body hair loss, non-healing skin lesions, aphthous ulcers, dizziness, weakness, memory loss, seizures, mood changes, neuropsychiatric problems, anti-thyroid effects, anaemia, elevated ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Sjorgren’s syndrome, chronic diarrhea, night sweats and low-grade fever.”


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Unlike schizophrenia, the risk of BPAD seems to be associated with both paternal and maternal ages

Psychol Med. 2009 Jul 23:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]
Paternal and maternal ages at conception and risk of bipolar affective disorder in their offspring.
Menezes PR, Lewis G, Rasmussen F, Zammit S, Sipos A, Harrison GL, Tynelius P, Gunnell D.
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
BACKGROUND: A consistent association between paternal age and their offspring's risk of schizophrenia has been observed, with no independent association with maternal age. The relationship of paternal and maternal ages with risk of bipolar affective disorders (BPAD) in the offspring is less clear. The present study aimed at testing the hypothesis that paternal age is associated with their offspring's risk of BPAD, whereas maternal age is not.MethodThis population-based cohort study was conducted with individuals born in Sweden during 1973-1980 and still resident there at age 16 years. Outcome was first hospital admission with a diagnosis of BPAD. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using Cox's proportional hazard regression. RESULTS: After adjustment for all potential confounding variables except maternal age, the HR for risk of BPAD for each 10-year increase in paternal age was 1.28 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.48], but this fell to 1.20 (95% CI 0.97-1.48) after adjusting for maternal age. A similar result was found for maternal age and risk of BPAD [HR 1.30 (95% CI 1.08-1.56) before adjustment for paternal age, HR 1.12 (95% CI 0.86-1.45) after adjustment]. The HR associated with having either parent aged 30 years or over was 1.26 (95% CI 1.01-1.57) and it was 1.45 (95% CI 1.16-1.81) if both parents were >30 years. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike schizophrenia, the risk of BPAD seems to be associated with both paternal and maternal ages.
PMID: 19627644 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Related articles
Paternal age and schizophrenia: a population based cohort study.
BMJ. 2004 Nov 6; 329(7474):1070. Epub 2004 Oct 22.
[BMJ. 2004]
Advancing paternal age and bipolar disorder.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Sep; 65(9):1034-40.
[Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008]
Maternal and paternal age and risk of autism spectrum disorders.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Apr; 161(4):334-40.
[Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007]
ReviewThe association between maternal HIV infection and perinatal outcome: a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis.
Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1998 Aug; 105(8):836-48.
[Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1998]
ReviewMortality in offspring of parents with psychotic disorders: a critical review and meta-analysis.
Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Jun; 162(6):1045-56.
[Am J Psychiatry. 2005]
» See reviews... » See all...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine Should Not Be Given to Children in Schools

Swine Flu Vaccine Should Not Be Given to Children in Schools
by Barbara Loe FisherOn April 26, a national public health emergency was declared by officials in the U.S. Departments of Health and Homeland Security. 1,2 We were told it was necessary to declare a national emergency because people were getting sick from a new swine flu virus that began in Mexico and might cause a deadly influenza pandemic.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Paternal Age Is Associated With Impaired Neurocognitive Outcome in Infancy :

Paternal Age Is Associated With Impaired Neurocognitive Outcome in Infancy :
There were 55,740 singleton pregnancies. Of these, 12,297 children were excluded because of (a) missing maternal and/or paternal age (1,542), (b) having indeterminate or unspecified sex (1,050), or (c) gestational age that was missing or less than 37 wk (9,705). After randomly selecting one live-born offspring per study mother, this left a total of 33,437 study offspring (17,148 males) available for the main analyses. Of these, 51% of the mothers were white, 39% black, and the remaining 10% were Asian and other racial groups. Finally, 6,355 children were missing information about age at testing at 8 mo, while 9,930 were missing age at testing at 4 y, and 9,109 were missing age at testing at 7 y. Those with missing paternal age were significantly more likely to have missing outcome variables at 8 mo, 4 y, and 7 y (each p < 0.001).

Table 1 shows descriptive statistics for paternal and maternal age and differences in parental age. On average, fathers were 3 to 4 y older than mothers, but the differences in parental age varied widely. Concerning the primary analyses, there was a statistically significant association between advanced paternal age and inferior performance on all neurocognitive tests (all p < 0.001) except for Bayley Motor score (Model 2, p = 0.104) (see Table 2). Concerning the influence of maternal age, there were statistically significant associations between advanced maternal age and superior performance on all measures. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show the mean adjusted score for paternal and maternal age for the outcome variables based on Models 1 and 2 respectively. Apart from the direction of the association between maternal and paternal age, the association between maternal age and the outcome variables at ages 4 and 7 y was curvilinear (generally steep at younger ages, then less steep at older ages), in contrast to the near-linear association with paternal age. Post-hoc analyses examining the goodness-of-fit of nonlinear versus linear models indicated that two of the variables were adequately capture by simple linear models (Bayley Mental score and Graham Ernhart Block Sort Test), but that nonlinear models were best suited for all other variables (unpublished data). Table 3 shows the estimated scores (and 95% CIs) for two paternal ages (20 and 50 y) based on the nonlinear modelling used in the primary analyses. For Model 2, the adjusted R-squared ranged from 2.4% (Bayley Motor) to 29.5% (WISC Full Scale IQ).

(Enlarge Image) Figure 1.
Primary Analyses: Model 1 -- Adjusted for Other Parent's Age, Mother's Race, Gestational Age, and Child Gender. Solid lines ranging from 15 to 45 y for maternal age, dotted lines ranging from 15 to 65 y for paternal age. Nonlinear model fit with 95% CIs.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

suggesting that as men get older, they face an increased risk of fathering children with abnormalities

Walking in his shoes
July 15, 8:43 AM

When it comes to fertility and the prospect of having normal babies, it has always been assumed that women need to start a family before the age of 30 to avoid high risk pregnancies, not to how hard it is on our bodies. But evidence is raising questions about that assumption, suggesting that as men get older, they face an increased risk of fathering children with abnormalities. Several recent studies are starting to persuade many doctors that men should not be too cavalier about postponing marriage and children.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Data Converges About Older Fathers

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Data Converges About Older Fathers
A recent post in the New York Times presents some evidence that men who become fathers at a later age have unhealthier children. It is well recognized that men retain their reproductive potential longer, and lose it in a more gradual manner, than do women. Whereas women's fertility declines sharply after age 35 or so, men retain their ability to father children, albeit to a diminished degree, for several decades longer. Recently, some evidence has been presented in the scientific literature that suggests that children conceived with sperm from an older male may have cognitive or psychological challenges compared to those fathered by younger males. A recent study performed by Australian scientists concluded that older dads have children with slightly lower IQs. Others have shown increased rates of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism in children fathered by older vs. younger men. This evidence suggests that men are susceptible to age-related effects on reproductive ability. This should not surprise anyone. However, the effects of reproductive ageing appear to be expressed differently in males than in females. Dr. Dolores Malaspina, a professor of psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, puts it this way: “It turns out the optimal age for being a mother is the same as the optimal age for being a father.”


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Autism tied to autoimmune diseases in immediate family

Autism tied to autoimmune diseases in immediate family

Danish researchers have found that many children with autism or related disorders also had a family history of autoimmune diseases.

By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
Danish researchers have found another clue to the mysterious causes of autism, according to a study published online this month in Pediatrics.
In a study of children born in Denmark from 1993 to 2004, doctors found that many children with autism or related disorders also had a family history of autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, develop when antibodies that normally fight infectious organisms instead attack the body itself.

In the study, doctors examined patterns of disease among children, mothers, fathers and siblings.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Association of Family History of Autoimmune Diseases and Autism Spectrum

Published online July 5, 2009PEDIATRICS (doi:10.1542/10.1542/peds.2008-2445)

Association of Family History of Autoimmune Diseases and Autism Spectrum DisordersHjördís Ó. Atladóttir, BMa, Marianne G. Pedersen, Cand Scientb, Poul Thorsen, MD, PhDa,c, Preben Bo Mortensen, MD, PhDb, Bent Deleuran, MDd,e, William W. Eaton, BA, PhDf and Erik T. Parner, MSc(Stat), PhDa,g
aNanea, Department of Epidemiology, andgDepartment of Biostatistics, Institute of Public HealthbNational Centre for Register-Based Research, andeInstitute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, DenmarkcDepartment of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GeorgiadDepartment of Rheumatology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, DenmarkfDepartment of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Objectives Recent studies suggest that familial autoimmunity plays a part in the pathogenesis of ASDs. In this study we investigated the association between family history of autoimmune diseases (ADs) and ASDs/infantile autism. We perform confirmatory analyses based on results from previous studies, as well as various explorative analyses.
Methods The study cohort consisted of all of the children born in Denmark from 1993 through 2004 (689196 children). Outcome data consisted of both inpatient and outpatient diagnoses reported to the Danish National Psychiatric Registry. Information on ADs in parents and siblings of the cohort members was obtained from the Danish National Hospital Register. The incidence rate ratio of autism was estimated by using log-linear Poisson regression.
Results A total of 3325 children were diagnosed with ASDs, of which 1089 had an infantile autism diagnosis. Increased risk of ASDs was observed for children with a maternal history of rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease. Also, increased risk of infantile autism was observed for children with a family history of type 1 diabetes.
Conclusions Associations regarding family history of type 1 diabetes and infantile autism and maternal history of rheumatoid arthritis and ASDs were confirmed from previous studies. A significant association between maternal history of celiac disease and ASDs was observed for the first time. The observed associations between familial autoimmunity and ASDs/infantile autism are probably attributable to a combination of a common genetic background and a possible prenatal antibody exposure or alteration in fetal environment during pregnancy.
Key Words: autistic disorder • autoimmune diseases • autoimmunity
Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval
Accepted Dec 19, 2008.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Rebecca Carley and Jane Burgetmeister

Connection between autism and a mother or father's type 1 diabetes

Autism expert Dr. Jeffrey Brosco, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the study reinforces the association between autism and a mother's autoimmune disease or, in the cases of type 1 diabetes, a mother's or father's condition.

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Tony Blair: 'I’m a planet-saving kinda guy'

From The Sunday Times

July 5, 2009
Tony Blair: 'I’m a planet-saving kinda guy'
The former PM has a new green masterplan: it won’t mean giving up our energy-rich lifestyle but it will cost us billions

Jonathan Leake: News Review interview
The silence from Tony Blair is so long it’s embarrassing. He has just spent 15 minutes enthusing about his new global report about how technology can help the world to combat climate change when the obvious question arose: what has he done to make his own life more sustainable?
Er . . . (long silence) . . . “We’ve got solar panels on our house.” Which one (he has a handful)? “The London one.”
Another long silence, then an aide mentions the offsets: “Ah yes, we offset our travel, too.” More silence: “And we have some home insulation.”
It is an awkward interlude. Blair is about to launch himself onto the world stage in yet another new role: as an evangelist for world-saving green technology.


Pregnancy complications may increase autism risk
The team reviewed 64 studies of prenatal risk factors for autism. It is the first time a meta-analysis of the relationship between pregnancy-related factors and risk of autism has been carried out. The analysis is published in the July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

( - Complications during pregnancy may increase the risk of having a child with autism, according to American researchers.The team reviewed 64 studies of prenatal risk factors for autism. It is the first time a meta-analysis of the relationship between pregnancy-related factors and risk of autism has been carried out. The analysis is published in the July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.Over 50 prenatal factors were examined. The researchers found that the factors most strongly associated with an increased autism risk are:Being born to an older mother or father. Having a mother who was born abroad. Having a mother who experienced bleeding during pregnancy. Having a mother who experienced gestational diabetes. Having a mother who used medication during pregnancy. Being the first born - or later born in families where there are three or more children. The researchers put forward possible explanations for these risk factors. For example, increased maternal age may be associated with autism because of a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities in eggs.Mothers who are born in another country may not have natural resistance to infections in the country where they give birth, which may increase the risk for autism. Moving to another country may also put women under stress, which could increase their chances of having a child who develops autism.Bleeding during pregnancy, gestational diabetes and medication use are also associated with increased autism risk. Bleeding can cause foetal hypoxia ( lack of oxygen to the brain of an unborn child ). Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy experience hormonal and metabolic changes, which may affect their baby’s health and development. Foetal development may also be affected by some medications which can cross the placenta during pregnancy.The association between birth order and autism risk is unclear. However, children with autism are more likely to be the first-born in families with only two children. In larger families with three or more children, they are more likely to be born later. It is possible that parents decide not to have more children after one has developed autism.The researchers said there was “insufficient evidence” to point to any one prenatal factor as being particularly significant. However, writing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, they said: “There is some evidence to suggest that exposure to pregnancy complications in general may increase the risk of autism.”--------------------------------------------------------------------------------For further information, please contact Liz Fox or Deborah Hart in the Communications Department.Telephone: 020 7235 2351 Extensions. 298 or 127E-mail: or H, Spiegelman D and Buka SL ( 2009 ) Prenatal risk factors for autism: comprehensive meta-analysis, British Journal of Psychiatry, 195: 7-14

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Older fathers were also linked with autism with every additional five years increasing the risk by 3.6 per cent

Children of older parents at increased risk of autism
Children born to older parents or whose mother suffered complications during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing autism, a review of research has found.

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor Published: 7:00AM BST 01 Jul 2009
Harvard researchers examined 64 studies which looked at various factors such as order or birth, parents' age, and complications such as bleeding during pregnancy and the subsequent risk of the child developing autism.
The strongest links were found with mothers over the age of 30, bleeding during pregnancy, developing diabetes while pregnant, using medication while pregnant and being first born.

The research discovered that developing diabetes during pregnancy increase the risk of autism two-fold, bleeding during pregnancy increased the risk by 81 per cent and maternal medication use by 46 per cent.
Becoming a mother over the age of 30 increased the risk of autism by between 27 per cent to 106 per cent according to different studies included in the review. Older fathers were also linked with autism with every additional five years increasing the risk by 3.6 per cent.
Age is probably linked with autism because of greater damage to eggs and sperm as parents age, which in turn affects the quality of the embryo and developing foetus.
The analysis also found that being first-born increased the risk of autism by 61 per cent compared with children born third or later.
However the research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, said there was no one factor which could be singled out as most important. They said complications in pregnancy in general appeared to increase the risk of having a child with autism.
The researchers also suggested that the reason for this may be that there is a common cause for both the complications and the autism, rather than the complications themselves being responsible for the condition.
The researchers said there was "insufficient evidence" to point to any one prenatal factor as being particularly significant. However, they said: "There is some evidence to suggest that exposure to pregnancy complications in general may increase the risk of autism."
The review found there was strong evidence that several factors did not increase the risk of autism including previous miscarriage, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia and swelling.
There are thought to be 588,000 people in Britain with autism spectrum disorder, including Asperger syndrome, which is a developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with autism have difficulties with everyday social interaction.
Fear of the condition was behind a dramatic fall in the number of children being given the triple jab for measles, mumps and rubella, following discredited research which linked it to bowel disease and autism.
A spokesman for The National Autistic Society said: "The causes of autism are not yet understood but there is evidence to suggest that autism can be caused by a variety of genetic, physical and environmental factors which affect brain development, although as yet we don't fully understand how or why this happens.
"Research into the causes of autism can cause concern and worry amongst parents of children with autism, and potential anxiety for expectant mothers or new parents. Particularly, as there is much confusion over the various theories put forward.
"Whilst research continues, it is crucial that parents have access to appropriate advice and support, as well as the services to enable them to cope with living with autism in their daily lives."


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