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New piece In Autism puzzle

New research is linking a mother's thyroid function during pregnancy to an increase risk of autism. Rachel McNeill reports.
New research is linking a mother's thyroid function during pregnancy to an increase risk of autism.  Rachel McNeill reports.

A study published in the August issue of the Annals of Neurology could be a possible breakthrough in narrowing down the causes of autism.

"I think for the first time, we have the possibility of finding an explanation of the problem," said lead author Dr. Gustavo Roman, with the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute said. "But most importantly, we have a way of preventing this from happening."

Dr. Roman and researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands studied thousands of pregnant Dutch women and found a lack of iodine in their diets affected fetal brain development.

"The studies showed that when the mothers had very low levels of thyroid hormone early in pregnancy, the chance of having a kid with autism was multiplied by four," explained Dr. Roman explained. "Very seldom do we see these strength of association."

Read more: http://bit.ly/181vecg       
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