Risk of Autism spectrum linked to insufficient placental steroid


A study of the experimental models has suggested that allopregnanolone which is one among the many hormones produced during pregnancy by placenta is essential to the development of the normal fetal brain and is so essential that when this hormone’s provision decreases or abruptly stops as is the case in premature birth, the new born is more likely to develop behaviors which are autism-like. This has been reported by the research team of the Children’s National Hospital on the 20th of October 2019.

As per the researchers and lead author, they say that as per their knowledge none of the other teams has studied how the allopregnanolone has contributed to the development of the brain and the behavior long term. They further added that their study has found that the targeted loss of the hormone in the womb leads to the cerebellum’s long term structural alterations. Cerebellum is the region of the brain which is essential for the social cognition, motor coordination and balance. This structural alteration increases the risk of development of autism.

As per the CDC, close to 1 among 10 infants is born prematurely, before the gestation period of 37 week and 1 among 59 children has the autism spectrum disorder.

In addition to the presenting on Monday of the abstract, the senior author Anna Penn is going to discuss the research with the media in the Neuroscience 2019 news conference. This abstract is among the 14,000 abstracts which have been submitted for this meeting which is the largest source of news which is emerging about brain science and health

The production of the hormone by placenta sees a rise in the second trimester of the pregnancy and the neurosteroid levels peak as the full term of the fetuses is approached.

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