Foetuses to have autism check

Foetuses to have autism checkIn a bid to provide better treatment to autistic children, Perth researchers will screen unborn babies for autism risks.

About 200 women will be screened and out of these 100 will be those who have had an autistic child and 100 who have had a normal child. These women will be screened by the team, headed by Telethon Institute for Child Health Research senior research fellow Andrew Whitehouse.

In the umbilical cord blood if abnormal levels of testosterone are present then there can be language impairment, which is related to autism. This research will be presented at an autism conference in Perth today by Dr Whitehouse.

Biomarkers that are linked to an increased risk of autism that includes brain growth of abnormal nature will be checked in foetuses in the next study over five years.

Dr Whitehouse said, “Some of the genes linked to autism are responsible for aspects of neurodevelopment that happen very early on.”

The study included Judi Barrett-Lennard, who is 32 weeks pregnant with her third child. They have a seven-year-old son who is affected with the condition and she, along with her husband, wants to support the cause.