SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 20, 2013

Autism in ‘womb’

Latest study

Placenta abnormalities show high risk for autism


LOS ANGELES — Researchers think they have come up with a way to tell whether a newborn infant has a higher-than-normal risk of developing autism — by looking for abnormalities in the placenta shortly after birth.

The abnormalities in question are called trophoblast inclusions, or TIs. They are created when the placenta doesn’t develop properly, and they are a marker for various genetic abnormalities. When a placental sample is examined on a slide under a microscope, TIs appear as dark blobs.

Dr. Harvey J. Kliman came up with the hypothesis that TIs might be linked to autism after he was asked to examine two placentas with many abnormalities. Those placentas belonged to children with autism.

To see whether his inkling had any merit, Kliman, a research scientist in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine, found 13 children with an autism-spectrum disorder and 154 children who didn’t. Then, he compared samples from their placentas and found that TIs occurred three times as often when children had such a disorder. He and his colleagues reported those results in 2007.

The new study was more ambitious. Kliman teamed up with researchers from the University of California, Davis, MIND Institute. They found 117 pregnant women who already had a child with autism and thus were more likely to have another child with the disorder. The placentas from these high-risk pregnancies were compared with placentas from 100 women who had no heightened risk of having a baby with autism.

It turned out there was a marked difference in TIs between the two groups. A full 92 percent of the control placentas had no TIs whatsoever, and none of them had more than two TIs.

On the other hand, placentas from the high-risk pregnancies had as many as 15 TIs. Fifty-nine percent of placentas had none. That meant that if the researchers found two or more TIs in a patient’s sample, the odds that the baby would have autism increased by a factor of 8.

The results were published yesterday in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The test can’t say whether a particular infant will grow up to develop autism. At best, it can serve only as a warning that a particular baby has an increased risk of developing autism.

(Jan’s Comment:

One doesn’t have to like this kind of thing.   If one is to manifest objectivity, one must, of course look at it.  There are far too many unanswered questions to draw any conclusions,  but the approach seems scientific with a willingness to observe what transpires.  But the moment they lay it off on genes – I’m outta here.  So if the study takes a turn to analyzing mama’s genes, we’ll know it’s just another  money-grab. 

But if serious effort is made to determine the mother’s diet, type and quality of food. . .i.e. – was she eating the  SAD diet or wholesome, non-GMO  nutritious food.  Anything unusual in the details of her pregnancy? What is her toxin load.  How much testing was done on her vitals, i.e., what was the condition of her inner organs, her blood and so on?  What in her organism resulted in the development of the TI’s?   As this article points out – this is not a normal expectation – – something is causing it.  Humans, by and large are born with perfect genes;  so what has impacted her hormonal process?   Does she take meds of any kind?   Just wondering?     Jan)


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