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Autism Spectrum Disorder Linked To PCOS In Eye-Opening New Study

Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, are 59 percent more likely to give birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder than women without the disorder, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Biology in December.  PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects as many as 1 in 10 women and is the leading cause of infertility. The disorder, caused by cysts in the ovaries, is marked by abnormally high levels of the male hormone androgen, which can lead to acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain and ovulation problems. While all women produce androgens, women with PCOS overproduce them and this may account for the difference, according to the study's lead researcher. "Women with PCOS have increased levels of androgens in their bodies compared to women without PCOS, even during pregnancy,"  Kyriaki Kosidou, a psychiatrist and researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and lead author of the study, told The Huffington Post. Those androgens could subtly influence the fetus's developing brain and nervous system, Kosidou said. The risk was even higher among women with PCOS who were also obese, perhaps because overweight women with PCOS tend to have even higher androgen levels than average-weight women with the disorder. Although ASD is five times more common in boys than in girls, according to the National Institutes of Health, babies born to mothers with PCOS in the study had the same risk, regardless of th...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

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