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Older fathers 'raise autism risk'
BBC ^ | 9/4/6

Posted on 09/05/2006 7:13:51 AM PDT by ZGuy

Children with older fathers have a significantly increased risk of having autism, a study has concluded. The UK and US researchers examined data on 132,271 children and said those born to men over 40 were six times more at risk than those born to men under 30.

They said the study in Archives of General Psychiatry was further proof men also had "biological clocks".

One UK expert said the study could be important in understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying autism.

Autism and related conditions, known as autism spectrum disorders, have become increasingly common, affecting 50 in every 10,000 children as compared with five in 10,000 two decades ago.

Increased awareness and changes in the way the disorders are diagnosed are thought to play a major role in the increase, but the researchers say it may also be linked to other changing factors.

Older parental age has previously been linked to abnormalities in the brain development of children.

Genetic fault

The researchers, from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, looked at data on 132,271 children born in Israel during the 1980s.

All men, and three-quarters of women born in these years were assessed by the draft board at age 17, during which time any disorders were recorded.

The board also took information on the ages of their father and mother, and took into account factors such as year of birth and socioeconomic status.

Among those whose fathers were between 15 and 29 when they were born, the rate of autism was six in every 10,000, rising to nine in every 10,000 when fathers were aged 30 to 39 (1.6 times higher).

In the group whose fathers were aged 40 to 49, the rate rose to 32 in 10,000 (5.75 times higher).

The rate appeared to be even higher when fathers were aged over 50, but the researchers said the sample size was very small.

The mother's age did not appear to influence the chances a child would have autism.

The researchers suggest there may be a genetic fault which is more common with age.

This might be spontaneous mutations in sperm-producing cells or alterations in genetic "imprinting," which affects gene expression.

'Convincing evidence'

The team, led by Dr Avi Reichenberg from the IoP, said: "It is important to keep in mind that age at paternity is influenced by the socio-cultural environment and varies across societies and over time.

"In a given population, a change in the socio-cultural environment could produce a change in paternal age at birth.

"In theory, it could thereby lead to a change in the incidence of genetic causes of autism."

He added: "Although further work is necessary to confirm this interpretation, we believe that our study provides the first convincing evidence that advanced paternal age is a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder."

Professor Simon Baron Cohen, of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, said: "The finding of a significant association with advancing paternal age is one that should be straightforward to test in other samples, to see if this result from a purely Israeli sample generalises to other populations.

"If confirmed, it could have important implications for the genetic mechanisms underlying autism."


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: autism; disorders; fatherhood; sperm

1 posted on 09/05/2006 7:13:53 AM PDT by ZGuy
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To: neverdem

Ping


2 posted on 09/05/2006 7:14:10 AM PDT by ZGuy
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To: ZGuy

old fathers or old sperm?


3 posted on 09/05/2006 7:15:06 AM PDT by meandog (While Clinton isn't fit even to scrape Reagan's shoes, Bush will never fill them!)
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To: ZGuy

Oh crap. My father's older now than at any other time in my life. I hope I'm not susceptible.


4 posted on 09/05/2006 7:15:41 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: ZGuy

My Dad was 50, no problems here. Definitely no problems.


5 posted on 09/05/2006 7:15:52 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist
This is an attempt by the feminazi driven media in Briton to try to "equal the playing field between men and women."

Do any of Mick Jager's children suffer??? I am sure if there were a case for damaged sperm, it would be his.
6 posted on 09/05/2006 7:18:16 AM PDT by Perdogg (My friends say I should act my age - What's my age again?)
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To: ZGuy
I don't know if it's really autism. When my second was born, I was just too busy to talk to him for the first five years of his life. Some would say that's the reason he doesn't speak or acknowledge others.

Owl_Eagle

If what I just wrote made you sad or angry,
it was probably just a joke.

7 posted on 09/05/2006 7:23:17 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: meandog
DNA methylation.

Good term to learn about. 'splains those non-mutation "mutations". Probably the source of male homosexuality as well.

8 posted on 09/05/2006 7:23:50 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Wolfie

LOL


9 posted on 09/05/2006 7:24:48 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: Strategerist

Do you buy your underwear at K-Mart? And ah, what time does Judge Wapner come on?


10 posted on 09/05/2006 7:26:06 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: ZGuy

I'm on the spectrum myself and my father was my age (25) when I was concieved.


11 posted on 09/05/2006 7:27:16 AM PDT by TypeZoNegative (".... We are a nation of Americans. We are DECENDED from legal immigrants"- johnandrhonda)
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To: Perdogg

This is an attempt by the feminazi driven media in Briton to try to "equal the playing field between men and women.
_____________

So you are suggesting that the UK and US researchers totally fudged their findings so the "feminazi driven media in Briton" would have something to crow about?

Too funny.


12 posted on 09/05/2006 7:34:11 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Strategerist

Are you absolutely definite about that. /sarcasm


13 posted on 09/05/2006 7:37:17 AM PDT by Global2010
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To: dmz
I think there conclusions might be driven by that. Men have been fathering children for generations after the age of 40. My father was conceived when my Grandfather was 45. Andre Segovia and Pablo Picasso had children after 70.
14 posted on 09/05/2006 7:37:28 AM PDT by Perdogg (My friends say I should act my age - What's my age again?)
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To: Perdogg

I have an opinion and it is not daddy's wigglers but from Mom's.

Men produce sperm but woman are born with a lifetime of eggs.

Also women may have medical conditions that can pass through the placenta.

I would put my money on some chromosome/genetic flaw in the womans older eggs.


15 posted on 09/05/2006 7:41:13 AM PDT by Global2010
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To: Perdogg

And my uncle fathered children in his '60's. I'm not sure, though, what the point of anecdotal evidence plays in this discussion.

Show some scientific (not anecdotal) evidence that conclusions were agenda driven, and you'll be everyone's hero.


16 posted on 09/05/2006 7:43:27 AM PDT by dmz
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To: ZGuy
Charlie Chaplin had 11 children by four marriages.

His youngest child was born when Charlie was 73 years old.

No known record of autism in the children.

Leni

17 posted on 09/05/2006 7:45:22 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Israel, Hold Firm !................No Retreat means No Repeat !)
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To: ZGuy

My brother was 35 when his son was born with autism.


18 posted on 09/05/2006 7:53:11 AM PDT by Hildy
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To: ZGuy

Parents of autistic children are usually of higher intelligence. I'm watching Dr. Manny Alvarez on FOX right now and am surprised to hear that his son is autistic. My brother was a certified genius, as is his wife. My Dad's best friend was beyond genius and his wife, a world-renowned artist, they had an autistic son. I think autism is the exact opposite of mental retardation.


19 posted on 09/05/2006 7:55:08 AM PDT by Hildy
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To: ZGuy
"... those born to men over 40 were six times more at risk than those born to men under 30."

Damned lies and statistics...

What happened to men between 30 and 40, probably the age range of increasingly more and more "normal" (married) fathers?
I would give this report more credence if the stats were tabulated continuously by age, including the youngest, as well as the oldest...

20 posted on 09/05/2006 7:59:54 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Perdogg
Do any of Mick Jager's children suffer??? I am sure if there were a case for damaged sperm, it would be his.

LOL!

21 posted on 09/05/2006 8:00:49 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Global2010
I would put my money on some chromosome/genetic flaw in the womans older eggs.

Why are you assuming that if the father is over 60, the mother can't be under 40?

22 posted on 09/05/2006 8:03:05 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Global2010

Yes, you may be correct. That's the intersting thing about this that I didn't see in the study. What were the ages of the women. Chances are that if the man is older that his spouse is also. How did they control for the age of the woman?


23 posted on 09/05/2006 8:03:57 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: TypeZoNegative
Curious, indeed. The small handful of people with Autism (and Asperger's) that I've known have all had young parents.

My Dad was 51 when I came along, and aside from a distinctively cantankerous nature, I'm fine.

When you say you're on the spectrum, does that mean you've been diagnosed with tendancies or a very mild case?

24 posted on 09/05/2006 8:06:25 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Un-dead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: Hildy

I wonder if the issue is really smart people having babies.

All the parents I know who have a child with autism are both professionals --- docotrs, lawyers, engineers, or the like.

Kind of a "too much of a good thing" issue.

There would also (generally) be older parents, given their education, and hence this corrolation.

Of course, it could just be because the only people I hang out with are professionals.


25 posted on 09/05/2006 8:07:14 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: Publius6961

Odds.


26 posted on 09/05/2006 8:07:25 AM PDT by Global2010
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To: MeanWestTexan

My two friends with autistic children are an analyst with the NSA, and a computer programmer.

There was an article in "Wired" magazine five years ago that speculated on the exact same thing as you:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html


27 posted on 09/05/2006 8:13:11 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Publius6961

There is more evidence that mercury in vaccines is the culprit. In fact you can google a large study in England and many in the U.S. that are extremely compelling.

I personally have a friend who has 3 autistic children. (Can you imagine?) Their doctor, who happens to be one of the better specialist's in this field, said that the vaccine plus an IV given to the oldest contributed excessive mercury at a young age. The other two have been found to have an unusual sensitivity to metals.

One study in the U.S., examined Amish children who, as a rule, are not vaccinated. Not one case of autism in this population.


28 posted on 09/05/2006 8:18:42 AM PDT by finch
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To: finch

"Amish children who, as a rule, are not vaccinated. Not one case of autism in this population."

Well, the Amish are also a small, largely closed, genetic pool, that is, by definition, non-technical.


29 posted on 09/05/2006 8:20:54 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: MeanWestTexan

I think studies would show that autism is higher among couples with higher IQ's.


30 posted on 09/05/2006 8:22:10 AM PDT by Hildy
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To: dmz
Show some scientific (not anecdotal) evidence that conclusions were agenda driven, and you'll be everyone's hero.

Without the raw data, that's impossible.
A good indication of an agenda, however, is the built-in gap left undiscussed for men between 30 and 40...
Why not, for instance graph the continuous age spectrum? Did they find gaps or discontinuities?

31 posted on 09/05/2006 8:26:07 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Hildy

Well, in looking at anything you have to look at biases - one thing schools don't do that they should is teach kids how to examine a "study" to see if it's flawed.

If Autism is indeed largely genetic (and frankly, I think the evidence is overwhelming that it is, but parents of autistic children just don't want to hear it) as noted previously it's possible the Amish simply don't have the gene and they marry each other.

On the other hand, to be fair, clearly the more intelligent parents are the more likely (in general) they are to have a higher income and the more likely it is their child will be diagnosed as autistic. Lower income parents with an autistic child are more likely to simply never have the child diagnosed, or diagnosed simply as retarded.


32 posted on 09/05/2006 8:27:03 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: MeanWestTexan

The study was compared to a population of poverty level childen in Chicago who also were not vaccinated. The findings correlated. No autism in the Chicago population.

The study in England was much larger and more definitive.


33 posted on 09/05/2006 8:27:29 AM PDT by finch
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To: Global2010

Arbitrary.


34 posted on 09/05/2006 8:28:21 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Publius6961

Among those whose fathers were between 15 and 29 when they were born, the rate of autism was six in every 10,000, rising to nine in every 10,000 when fathers were aged 30 to 39 (1.6 times higher).

In the group whose fathers were aged 40 to 49, the rate rose to 32 in 10,000 (5.75 times higher).
___________

Did you miss the stats for the 30-39 year old group. They are listed in the original article for all to see.


35 posted on 09/05/2006 8:30:01 AM PDT by dmz
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To: finch
One study in the U.S., examined Amish children who, as a rule, are not vaccinated. Not one case of autism in this population.

Of course, the supporters of junk science, here, will claim that there are no Amish fathers over 35...

< /sarc >

36 posted on 09/05/2006 8:30:42 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: ZGuy
What with certain people delaying childbirth more and more (afluent anglos, some hispanics), I've been wondering if, along with the known risks of Down's Syndrome, there isn't a respectively higher risk of unseen genetic problems. Perhaps problems that don't manifest themselves as obviously as Down's. Perhaps even genetic problems that wont show up at all in the individual offspring, but which may show up in subsequent generations.

I've often wondered if perhaps this will lead to a dumbing down of the population in general. This genetic damage is passed down by smarter, more affluent people, and causes fertility, survivability, and breedability problems. Whereas the "dumber" folks who breed early, have healthy offspring with no breeding problems.

Just idle speculation, and a note, I am NOT saying ALL older parents are smart, or that ALL young parents are dumb, of course.

37 posted on 09/05/2006 8:35:05 AM PDT by Paradox (The "smarter" the individual, the greater his power of self-delusion.)
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To: dmz
Did you miss the stats for the 30-39 year old group.

My bad.
I am headed there now, but I am not so much interested in the complete summary as I am in detailed description of the methodology, sample size, control groups, confounding factors, etc.

STUDIES PROVE

38 posted on 09/05/2006 8:36:06 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Publius6961

Facts only confuse their theories so they are forced to ignore facts.


39 posted on 09/05/2006 9:16:15 AM PDT by Spirited
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To: RepoGirl

I was actually diagnosed with asperger's at 16. Autism, like many neurological disorders have what you can call a "spectrum", meaning you have your mild cases that are barely noticeable and could be a different disorder in itself to the very severe. I have Asperger's, which is on the high end of the spectrum (Hence, why we're speaking).

PM me if you want to talk more about it.


40 posted on 09/05/2006 9:28:33 AM PDT by TypeZoNegative (".... We are a nation of Americans. We are DECENDED from legal immigrants"- johnandrhonda)
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To: Hildy

It just goes to show that they are desperate for reasons and they are lashing out at anything that they can. The males sperm, in my opinion, has nothing to do with it. And also, I think it wrong to put blame on one gender.


41 posted on 12/13/2006 11:25:21 AM PST by copperisme (With the light of day later comes the darkness of night.)
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To: Global2010

That's right, blame the woman.

Just like for centuries it was women's fault when the men didn't have any boys.

Too bad they found out it is the man's fault.


42 posted on 12/13/2006 11:30:42 AM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: RepoGirl
It's a stat. It can happen to anyone, even remotely.

"In the group whose fathers were aged 40 to 49, the rate rose to 32 in 10,000 (5.75 times higher)."

There is still a fat chance of having an autistic child due to being an "overage" daddy. So it's not as if it's epidemic. This stat is just 0.3% of the "elder" population. Not even worth really worrying about. It's greater than the younger, but still tiny.

43 posted on 12/13/2006 11:43:27 AM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: Paradox
Maybe you might be interested in some of these links on older fathers and risks of problems for offspring???????? http://press.psprings.co.uk/jech/october/851_ch45179.pdf
Many problems have been associated with having children,later not earlier. 35 for both men and women is beginning to be later. See James F.Crow http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/94/16/8380
This information about risks of older parenting is not new,but it has been hidden for some reason. http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/13/9/2371.pdf

There is research to look at if one has an open mind and if one realizes that autism is not one thing, or one gene, or if the genes exists mildly already in a person one can have an more autistic child at 20. So, maybe the older a man the more mutations in his sperm and the less ability to kill off the mutated sperm.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6K-4B52S86-P&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F2003&_alid=481273960&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5033&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=113136870c266c7b8005023fc27a06d8
Yes, young engineer types will tend to have more autistic children, but maybe also 36 +++ men who are lawyers, and not scientists. This all does not mean that there aren't plenty of very non-autistic people with fathers who were in theirlate 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s ++. This information is not meant to blame older fathers, but knowledge is power. It takes a lot of time and will to begin to sort this issue out.
44 posted on 12/15/2006 7:40:24 PM PST by pema
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To: the OlLine Rebel
In most of the research on autism it has been noted that the fathers were much older than average(this is when they thought mother's were to blame). In one small study done in Sweden the mothers mean age was 30.7 and the father's mean age was 34. Gillberg 1980. Both of these ages were much older than the mean age of the unaffected population.
Here is a recent article on the Reichenberg study.
http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/35320/63153/491833.html?d=dmtHMSContent

The article below discusses some background on the issue http://list.web.net/archives/mnchp-l/2004-April/000508.html Finding out what is behind some of the cases of the disabling form of autism is not about blame.
45 posted on 12/15/2006 9:00:54 PM PST by pema
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