Autism and Antidepressants – What New Studies Say
Most people see genetic makeup as the main reason behind autism. An autistic child’s neurons and synaptic processes are different because of an anomaly in their genes. What you possibly don’t know is there are other existing autism causes you must watch out for. Scientists continue to study many external factors believed to cause the condition. One of them is the use of antidepressants during pregnancy.
Brief Background on Autism
Autism is a group of neuro-developmental disorders affecting a person’s behavior, social interaction, and communication skills. About 1% of the population, or one in every 110 children in the United States, has some kind of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Boys are more inclined to develop this condition than girls.
Genetics plays a crucial role in the development of autism. Kids with ASD either have rare genetic mutations or a rare mixture of common genes. Quite a few children with ASD also have other health conditions like tubular sclerosis, which researchers say is also a cause. Other hypothesized autism causes include things like exposure to mercury and lead and excessive vaccination, although studies have not confirmed a solid link between vaccines and autism. A pregnant mother’s health condition or drug intake during gestation might also add to the risk of autism in their kids.
The Link with Antidepressants
Autism and antidepressants have had a good relationship for years. There isn’t any known treatment yet for ASD. Doctors handle symptoms in the meantime. They prescribe antidepressants to autistic children demonstrating signs of anxiety and depression. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) work well at controlling the behavior of kids with autism.
Recent studies, however, show the drug that keeps their symptoms in check might be the cause of their disorder. A new study shows that the risk of bearing autistic children went up 2.2 times in women who took SSRIs, like Prozac, during pregnancy. Those who took it during the first trimester were at the highest risk, increasing the likelihood 3.8 times.
Previous studies show that people with autism have problems with their serotonin levels. Serotonin plays a significant part in brain development. Individuals with autism either have too much or too little of the chemical. Researchers believe a child’s serotonin system mutates if a pregnant mother takes SSRIs early on in the pregnancy. These drugs go through the placenta and affect the fetus’s development. SSRIs treat depression and other behavioral disorders by governing the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. This process is what scientists believe to be the cause of serotonin system mutation.
Taking Action Against SSRI Manufacturers
This new link between autism and antidepressants brought on a wave of class-action lawsuits against SSRI drug manufacturers. You may file a claim if you took antidepressants while pregnant and bore an autistic child.
You are able to charge manufacturers for design defects in accordance to the Defective Drugs Law. Legislation requires pharmaceutical companies to carefully study a drug’s side effects. You may sue your doctor for medical malpractice if you could prove your physician failed to warn you about these side effects. Make sure you consult a personal injury lawyer focusing on this kind of lawsuit to understand more about your options.