Health & Medicine

Antidepressants during pregnancy doubles risk of autism

Main image credit: hepingting/Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

A significant quantity of controversy will surround antidepressants. Some research has implied that they provide significant benefits for individuals, other patients report they aren’t any better than a placebo and might even increase the threat of suicide. And currently scientists claim an additional instance against their usage: taking while pregnant substantially could increase your autism risk in a child.

The usage of those drugs centers upon the concept that depression derives from an imbalance of specific brain chemicals, in particular, serotonin, the “happy hormone”. Therefore, antidepressants have the goal of restoring their levels back to normal, for instance by preventing re-uptake inside the nervous system; drugs that act in this way are  referred to as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and involve Citalopram and Prozac.

However, what if irregular serotonin levels include a symptom, and not a cause, of depression? This might explain why robust proof that supports their efficacy tends to be lacking. But despite this, their usage has soared, increasing 400% from 1988 – 2008 within the United States. Concomitantly, we also have seen an increase within the prevalence of ASD (autism spectrum disorder), an umbrella word for associated neurodevelopmental disorders like Asperger’s and autism.

Serotonin is highly critical for development of the brain; it is involved in migration of neurons, cell division, and development of link between cells across which data flows.

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