Pages

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Birth weight links autism, schizophrenia

The theory that schizophrenia and autism are opposing ends of a neurological continuum recently found support in a group of 1.7 million Danish babies. With this sample, Yale professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Stephen Stearns and two colleagues from the University of Copenhagen sought to understand how the struggle between maternal and paternal genes during development might manifest in neuropsychiatric disorders. Their results show that babies with lower than average birth weights have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia and a lower risk of developing autism, while babies with greater than average birth weights have a higher risk of developing autism and a lower risk of developing schizophrenia. While the finding cannot yet be used clinically for diagnosis, the discovery provides supporting evidence for the importance of the balance between parental genetic interests in utero, Stearns said.

 Read more here.

31