High foetal testosterone, more autistic traits

Infants exposed to high concentration of testosterone hormone in the womb are more likely to develop autistic characteristics in childhood, a study reported.

Researchers recorded testosterone levels of fetus in the amniotic fluid of 235 pregnant women.

Then they made the comparative study of the questionnaires, considered to measure children’s autistic characters between the ages of 6 and 10.

They found that high male hormone levels were associated with reflection to poor social skills, imagination and understanding, but good focus and memory for detail.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen said the research it’s a advance study than previous that has discovered links between foetal testosterone and less eye contact in childhood, decreased language maturity and more difficulties with compassion.

“Its first time that any study has highlighted association of foetal testosterone with autistic traits, and indicates that foetal testosterone masculinises the body and mind too.” he said.

But he highlighted that this study was not providing any evidence about the relation of testosterone level and fully matured autism.

“It is noticeable that this research does not show elevated foetal testosterone linked to clinical diagnosis of autism or Asperger Syndrome,” he added.

The Guardian newspaper printed that, the research, published in The British Journal of Psychology, may make prenatal screening for autism more precise, potentially allowing women to abort pregnancy with the specific condition.

Research could develop new treatments for autism, he said. But he accepted that this too would be controversial.

High foetal testosterone, more autistic traits
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