Background and aims Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of pervasive developmental disorders characterised by impaired communication, impaired social interaction, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. Previous studies showed that a focus on prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal events may identify factors linked to autism spectrum disorder.
This presentation aims to emphasise the information collected from a cross sectional study conducted in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ‘Prof. Dr. Al. Obregia’ Psychiatry Hospital, in Bucharest. The main objective of this study was to identify potential association between certain perinatal risk factors and the occurrence of ASD.
Methods In the study were included 52 subjects with ASD and 52 typically developing children (matched for age and gender).
To their caregivers was applied a structured parent – informant questionnaire, that aimed to assess the following factors: familial antecedents, exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy, using medications in pregnancy, intrauterine infections, risk of miscarriage, fetal complications during labour and delivery, birth weight, APGAR score, mental and motor development during infancy, personal pathological antecedents.
Results After statistical analysis, there was found significant association between the presence of ASD and: taking medications during pregnancy, fetal complications during labour and delivery, pregnancy with increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and APGAR score, history of psychiatric conditions in family and personal pathological antecedents, abnormal mental development during infancy.
There was no relationship between ASD and the exposure to environmental toxins in pregnancy, intrauterine infections, abnormal motor development during infancy and parental age at childbirth.
Conclusions Most of the findings are consistent with those of other prior studies. These data suggest that the etiologically relevant period may be in utero because the pathogenesis may begin during the prenatal period.
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