Psychiatric Drugs Increase Autism Risk

An article just out on the BBC, Problem Pregnancy Autism Risk, reports on the results of a US review of studies on the rise of autism.

Along with being associated with older parents and pregnant bleeding, this review has found psychiatric drugs during pregnancy are associated with autism risk, but then the research grows murky.

The team also found associations with medication use, with a particularly strong link with drugs for psychiatric problems.

However, they acknowledged it was impossible to tell whether this was a result of the medication itself or the genetic traits which may be shared between autism and conditions requiring such treatment.

Researchers said the key challenge was to work out how genetics and the environment interacted with each other to produce autism.

“The rising prevalence, coupled with the severe emotional and financial impact on the families, underscores the need for large, prospective, population-based studies with the goal of elucidating the modifiable risk factors, particularly those during the prenatal period,” wrote lead author Hannah Gardner.

“Future investigations of prenatal exposures should also collect DNA to study potential gene-environment interactions.”

“Gene-environment interactions”? These researchers are hunting for a mad gene, too!? It doesn’t make sense really. The autistic population is growing. It isn’t growing because of bad genes. It is growing because of environmental factors. Either that, or…Are certain genes mutating at an incredibly escalated rate? I have my doubts as to the soundness of some of the assumptions being made here.

As to whether psychiatric condition genes bear any relationship to autism, that is another matter for inquiry. My view differs from the conventional theory in that I tend to think psychiatric conditions run in families because individuals in families rely on psychiatrists. Should one family members seek ‘help’, then when another family member gets in trouble, they are referred to this same ‘help’. I think this also explains why ‘normality’ might run in families as well.

Of course, we can’t give psychiatric drugs to pregnant women who don’t have psychiatric conditions to see if their children are born with autism. What kind of prenatal care would that represent!?