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Studies into the cause of autism are always ongoing, and it seems that we are no closer to the real answer yet. Now, a new study says that women who had a fever during their pregnancy have double the risk of giving birth to a child with autism. But if you take Tylenol or some other over the counter fever reducer, you're keeping your child safe from this danger? Researchers from the UC Davis MIND Institute which studies autism conducted this study. They noted that plenty of things seem to increase the risk of autism. Among them are living near a motorway and having diabetes. But these new findings are consistent with that one, as fever and diabetes both trigger an inflammatory response in the body. Look at our post Maternal obesity and diabetes lead to autism? for more information.

More than 1,1000 mothers, both of neurotypical children and those with autism, filled out a questionnaire that the study team designed. Those mothers who had kids with autism and developmental delays were much more likely to say that they had a fever during their pregnancy. Those who took fever reducers like Tylenol didn't show any increased risk of these problems. And it wasn't having a flu that caused the jump in autism either specifically fever showed a higher chance. One theory is that chemicals called cytokines, which fight infection in the body, get to the fetus via the placenta, and cause harm to the baby's development. But the study team also made it clear that autism is still very much a mystery and that genetics play a really big role. "That's why we're continuing to cast a wide net, and hopefully it will begin to fall into place," lead author Irva Hertz-Picciotto said. Did you have a fever during pregnancy? Or other you the mother of a child with autism? We'd love to hear your take on the new study!

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