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New Study Pregnant women who take paracetamol risk having an autistic child

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology, the study found that children exposed to paracetamol during pregnancy were at a 30 per cent increased risk of losing some attention functions.

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Pregnant women who take paracetamol risk having an autistic child play

Pregnant women who take paracetamol risk having an autistic child

(babycenter.com)

A new study has revealed that mothers who take paracetamol during pregnancy may be increasing the risk of their children developing autism.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology, the study found that children exposed to paracetamol during pregnancy were at a 30 per cent increased risk of losing some attention functions.

Even though the painkiller is usually given to pregnant women, researchers say they have now identified an association between exposure to the drug and subsequent autism in boys.

Dr Jordi Julvez, a researcher at the CREAL institute in Barcelona and the study’s co-author, said: “Paracetamol could be harmful to neuro-development for several reasons.

“First of all, it relieves pain by acting on cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
“Since these receptors normally help determine how neurons mature and connect with one another, paracetamol could alter these important processes.

“It can also affect the development of the immune system, or be directly toxic to some foetuses that may not have the same capacity as an adult to metabolise this drug, or by creating oxidative stress.”

The research also revealed that children who were persistently exposed performed worse on computerised tests measuring inattention, impulsively and visual speed processing.

Meanwhile, before any changes to treatment recommendations are made, scientists say that further studies should be conducted including more precise dosage measurements.

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