Neurotransmitter-affecting medicines not linked to autism

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11 Dec 2018, 4:22 am

The Pharmaceutical Journal

Quote:
The authors of a study into the use of medicines that affect neurotransmitters in pregnant women have found no link to autism risk in offspring.

Maternal use of medicines targeting neurotransmitter systems is unlikely to directly affect the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in offspring, the authors of a study published in JAMA Psychiatry (online, 31 October 2018) have concluded[.

The researchers used data from the Israeli healthcare system from 1,405 individuals with ASD and 94,844 controls without an ASD diagnosis, including siblings of those with an ASD diagnosis, who were born between January 1997 and December 2007. They were followed up for a mean of 11.6 years.

After adjusting for covariates, 5 out of 34 medication types were significantly associated with ASD diagnosis, including 4 that were associated with lower rates of ASD. Additionally, the researchers found evidence of confounding effects of the number of maternal diagnoses on the association between offspring exposure to medication and ASD.

Maternal diagnoses were therefore more likely to explain the relationship between these medicines and ASD diagnosis in the offspring, they said.

“[The] maternal number of diagnoses can confound associations between prenatal exposures and autism, and therefore should be accounted for in future studies,” said lead author Magdalena Janecka from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman