PCOS in pregnant women can increase risk of autism in newborn babies | Health - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

PCOS in pregnant women can increase risk of autism in newborn babies

Indo Asian News Service | By
Aug 03, 2018 11:15 AM IST

If the mother had higher levels of testosterone than usual, as is the case in women with PCOS, then some of the hormone might cross the placenta during pregnancy, exposing her unborn baby to more of this hormone, and changing the baby’s brain development.

Children born to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be more likely to develop autism, according to a study. PCOS is a condition caused by high testosterone which results in delayed onset of puberty, irregular menstrual cycles, and excess bodily hair.

Here’s how your PCOS could affect your newborn.(Shutterstock)
Here’s how your PCOS could affect your newborn.(Shutterstock)

Previous studies had shown that autistic children have elevated levels of “sex steroid” hormones including testosterone which “masculinise” the baby’s body and brain. Debating on the increase level of hormones, the team found that one possible source may be the mother.

Discover the thrill of cricket like never before, exclusively on HT. Explore now!

If the mother had higher levels of testosterone than usual, as is the case in women with PCOS, then some of the hormone might cross the placenta during pregnancy, exposing her unborn baby to more of this hormone, and changing the baby’s brain development, the findings showed.

“This is an important piece of new evidence for the theory that autism is not only caused by genes but also by prenatal sex steroid hormones such as testosterone,” said Adriana Cherskov from the University of Cambridge in Britain.

“This new research is helping us understand the effects of testosterone on the developing foetal brain, and on the child’s later behaviour and mind,” added Simon Baron-Cohen from the varsity.

However, these hormonal effects are not necessarily independent of genetic factors, as a mother or her baby may have higher levels of the hormone for genetic reasons, and testosterone can affect how genes function, the researchers noted.

For the study, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, the team analysed data from 8,588 women with PCOS and their first-born children, compared to a group of 41,127 women without PCOS.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

Catch your daily dose of Fashion, Health, Festivals, Travel, Relationship, Recipe and all the other Latest Lifestyle News on Hindustan Times Website and APPs
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On