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Pioneering scientific research has led to some interesting findings in relation to fertility and child development in recent times, and this latest finding certainly provides some food for thought.


According to a new research report, scientists in Sweden have established a link between polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women and childhood autism.


A team at the renowned Karolinska Institute carried out the study, with a report in the journal Molecular Psychiatry showing that the risk of developing autism was significantly raised for children whose mothers were diagnosed with the hormone imbalance.


Lead researcher Kyriaki Kosidou said: “We found that a maternal diagnosis of PCOS increased the risk of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in the offspring by 59%.”



While the report states that the team are not exactly certain on the cause of the link, they believe that exposure to particular sex hormones that are produced in excessive amounts by women with PCOS may play a role.


Interestingly, the team found that the risk was even higher for women living with PCOS and obesity.


Given that the study was carried out in Sweden between 1984 and 2007, this is a very significant piece of research; however, Kosidou has said that further research is necessary in order to make recommendations for how pregnant women with PCOS should be treated.




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