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Should There Be A Cure?: Medications During Pregnancy That May or May Not Lead to Autism

edCircuit Opinion

Although it has not been proven, research has shown that there is a potential correlation between antidepressant medications and induced labor leading to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children. Autism remains a highly debated topic that can be divided into two categories. Those that are against the idea of finding a cure, and those who strongly believe a cure should be found.

Most members of medical advocacy groups are dominated by the actual patients and their families. People who oppose finding a cure (Neurodiversity advocates) believe that autistic children should not strive to fit into the social “norm”, but instead society is what needs to change, and accept behavioral differences. Regardless, there is interesting new data that should continue to be explored. What do you think? Do you find that U.S. News and The New York Times discuss game-changing findings which could alter the direction of autism research? Do you find it harmful to blame mothers for their children’s condition? Comment below.

At a Glance:

  • Most members of medical advocacy groups for children with disabilities are parents or the disabled themselves
  • Taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy is associated with an 87 percent increased risk of ASD in children
  • Nearly 2% of infants in induced labor study were later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Around the Web:

New Voices in Medical Advocacy Often Are Patients

Amy Dockser Marcus | Wall Street Journal

In the world of advocacy for children with disabilities, life-threatening conditions and chronic disease, a new generation of advocates is emerging: the patients themselves.

Christopher “Buddy” Cassidy Jr. was in a difficult spot last year as the sole patient on a Food and Drug Administration panel advising regulators who were considering whether to approve an experimental drug for a rare disease. He spent hours before the hearing reading company and FDA documents, then listened carefully to parents’ testimony that the drug was helping their children and slowing down the progression of the disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects primarily males and leads to progressive weakening of muscles and premature death.

But despite the compelling personal testimony, Mr. Cassidy, a 26-year old from Annandale, Va., who has Duchenne, says he worried about the drug’s safety profile. Finding himself on a different side of the issue than many of the parents at the hearing was “wrenching,” he says.

To read more visit The Wall Street Journal

Induced Labor Won’t Raise Autism Risk in Kids, Research Suggests 

Mary Elizabeth Dallas | U.S. News

Inducing labor won’t raise a pregnant woman’s risk of having a child with autism, a new study suggests.

“These findings should provide reassurance to women who are about to give birth, that having their labor induced will not increase their child’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorders,” said senior researcher Dr. Brian Bateman. He’s an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

One 2013 study had suggested a possible link between autism and induced labor using medication, such as oxytocin, the researchers noted.

To read more visit U.S. News

New Research Raises More Questions about Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy

Rachel Rabkin Peachman | The New York Times

The pros and cons of taking antidepressants while pregnant have been hotly debated despite increasing research in the field. Each time one study highlights negative outcomes associated with antidepressant use during pregnancy, another study is published pointing toward the benefits for mother and baby. For any woman considering pregnancy and in need of antidepressants, deciding on a course of action can be agonizing. Today, research published in JAMA Pediatrics is likely to make matters even more troubling for these women.

The large observational study, led by Anick Bérard, Ph.D., professor of perinatal epidemiology at the University of Montreal, found that taking antidepressants — particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, commonly called SSRIs — during the second or third trimester of pregnancy is associated with an 87 percent increased risk of au