Autism is a medical condition affecting the neurological development, which often hinders the communication and social skills.
According to Autism Speaks, there are about 1.7 million people with autism in India. It affects all the groups of the world, regardless of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. In recent years, the diagnosis of this disorder has risen in children, especially, in the age group of eighteen months to six years.
As per research statistics, this disorder is more likely to occur in boys. Nevertheless, girls experience serious symptoms and challenging intellectual impairment.
Read on to know the possible causes for the rise in autism.
Medical experts are unable to determine the precise causes of autism. Research indicates that environmental, hereditary, and biological factors have a major role in the onset of autism.
Parental Age and Pregnancy
Studies reveal that increasing age of parents has effects on the fetal genetic traits. Chromosomal abnormalities vary at different ages. The rate of body metabolism affects the development of a fetus. Data show that bacterial and viral infection, in a pregnant woman, during the first/second trimester, makes the fetus susceptible to impaired immunity.
German measles in an expectant mother, Fragile X Syndrome (form of mental retardation), brain inflammation and genetic disorders that cause tumors in the brain and other vital organs, insufficient oxygen and chemical imbalance – are few reasons for autism.
The relationship between vaccines and autism is a concern among many parents. Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative used in MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, can contribute to autism. Controversial reports show that vaccine antigens may compromise the infant’s immunity levels.
Mercury poisoning create irregularities in neurotransmitters, which conjoin the relationship between vaccines and autism. On the other hand, several studies and theories have concluded that MMR or any other vaccine is safe and do not cause autism.
Mothers exposed to environmental pollutants puts the fetal brain development at risk. Psychiatric reports suggest that exposure to chemicals, plastic, microwave radiation; frozen and canned foods hamper the sound health of the brain.
Presence of lead in paint and building materials disrupt the healthy development of neurological pathways. These toxins also disturb the hormonal functions, which is essential, in the growth of a healthy brain.
Other Medical Conditions
Medical conditions such as bipolar disorder, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, Down’s syndrome, schizophrenia and other conditions in individuals are susceptible to various developmental disorders including the growth and functioning of the brain.