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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Folic Acid: One Answer To the Puzzle + Eat Your Spinach; Sodium Valproate Linked To Autism; Flying High With Autism Conference

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

Folic Acid--One Answer To Lower Risk Of Autism

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported women who took folic acid four weeks before conception and through eight weeks into their pregnancy were 40% less likely to have a child with autism. And 27% were less likely to have a child with any autism spectrum disorder.

The results of the study confirmed earlier findings. Doctors have long encouraged women to take folic acid before and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects.  In addition, other findings have found that children whose mothers took folic acid were less likely to have language delays.

For these reasons, physicians recommend all women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. Folic acid (Folate) is also found in lentils, spinach, black beans, peanuts, orange juice, romaine lettuce and broccoli.

Reuters, LA Times, USA TODAY

Sodium Valproate, An Antiepileptic Drug, Linked To Autism

The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery And Psychiatry recently reported that antiepileptic drugs taken during pregnancy significantly increase the risk of autism.

The authors base their findings on children born to 528 pregnant women between 2000 and 2004 in England. All but 34 of whom took antieleptic drugs during their pregnancy. Children whose mothers took antiepileptic drugs while pregnant were significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder than were those mothers who took other drugs to treat their condition.

The findings showed that those exposed to valproate alone were six times more likely to develop a neurodevelopmental condition. When valporate was given with another drug, the incidence increased 10 fold.

In closing, the authors point to the potentially harmful effects of valproate. Women who take valproate should be given as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

UK Telegraph