Autism may relate to pyrethrins
A report presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in London on May 15 said that pesticides in pet shampoos activate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children, which is a disorder related to brain development and impaired communication skills in children.
The report is also one of the first to be based on large scale population size which is envisaged to find out the environmental factors and its interaction with genes and how it contributes to the condition.
It was reported that mothers of ASD children had doubled chance of using pet shampoo that has pyrethrins, an insecticide than to the mother of healthy children. Significantly, the risk increased during 4th to 6th month of pregnancy.
Earlier, studies in insects and rodents has indicated pyrethrins that has potential to damage the blood-brain barrier during early life, and cause neuronal damage, thereby interfering with the transmission of signals along nerve fibres.
The researchers led by Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor at the University of California in Davis, United States, studied 333 children with ASD and 198 healthy children, and their families.
They collected blood and urine samples and with the help of questionnaires based on medical history and exposure to medications including household products or metals at the time of conception, pregnancy, or after birth.
Though there was a connection between pyrethrins and autism in children, the researchers cautioned that pyrethrins is not the only cause and there could be several other chemicals that is responsible for the disorder. It is found that Autism and other disorders are result of both genetic as well as environmental factors.
Autism affects brain and the mechanism of which is still not clear and is associated with impaired social and communication behaviour, the children suffering from autism show restricted interest and repetitive behaviours. This study also reflects the danger associated with children who have higher exposures to toxic chemicals.
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