Monday, September 17, 2007

Autism and autism-related disorders

Autism and autism-related disorders have been attributed to many causes, but so far there is not a proven causal factor.

A new UK study by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge University has shown that if unborn babies are exposed to higher than normal levels of the hormone testosterone during pregnancy, they may have an above average chance of being diagnosed with autism later on.

While the studies fall far short of proving a causal link, this theory merits further investigation. Earlier studies have also demonstrated that prenatal testosterone levels have an effect on brain development in animals.

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