NASET News Alert

Family History of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder May Up Kids' Risk for Autism

July 20, 2012

A new study suggests that children whose parents or siblings have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may be at a higher risk of developing autism spectrum disorders. Researchers led by Dr. Patrick Sullivan of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill came to their conclusions after studying the medical records of people in Sweden and Israel. A family history of schizophrenia was strongly connected to autism disorders in children, almost tripling the risk, the team found. Children with a first-degree relative with bipolar disorder also had higher odds of developing an autism disorder, but the effect was less pronounced. It's not clear how schizophrenia and bipolar disorder might be connected to autism disorders. The research didn't prove that either of these psychiatric disorders actually causes autism, only that there is an association. To read more, click here

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