Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s) are disabilities that affect social and communication skills, and cause behavioural changes (CDC, 2012). There are three types of ASD’s; Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Autistic disorder (autism). Autistic disorder will be the focus of this study (CDC, 2012). Children develop autism before the age of three years and struggle with it throughout their lives (CDC, 2012). “Autism creates many challenges in the child’s life and it negatively impacts; intellectual disabilities, language delays, social and communication difficulties and unexpected behaviour and interests” (CDC, 2012). Autism does not segregate between racial and ethnic groups, nor does it relate to socioeconomic status; however it has been proven to occur more often in males than in females (CDC, 2012). Over the past decade there has been a significant increase in the number of autistic diagnoses (CDC, 2012). Evidence has shown that the development of autism occurs during the pregnancy phase (Schmidt, 2011); which leads this study to analyze the association between intake of iron, and zinc during pregnancy and preventing autism in the offspring. Specific Aims
The proposed study will be focused on whether women who take iron and zinc supplements during the three trimesters of the pregnancy will reduce the risk of autism in their offspring. The goal of this study is to develop an association between vitamin exposures and the outcome of prevented risk of autism. The proposal can potentially establish correlations that will help identify, and prevent risk factors of autism. Two objectives for this study are: to measure the prevalence of autism among young children in Canada, and to compare the levels of exposure and disease among three different cities in Canada. Background:
There have been different studies conducted to explore the significant role of pre-natal vitamins, specifically folate, in neurodevelopment in the fetuses. The Environmental Health Sciences organization conducted a case-control study in California. The controls were mothers of children without autism, and were matched to the cases based on age, sex, and place of residence in California (Schmidt R.J. et al, 2011). Mothers of children aged between 2 and 5 years were asked about their use of multivitamins and prenatal vitamins; specifically during the pre-conception period and during the first trimester of their pregnancy. Samples of DNA were taken from the mothers and their children allowing the researches to examine the genes that are responsible for carbon one metabolism (Schmidt R.J. et al, 2011); which is responsible for the processing of folate in the body. If mothers did not take prenatal vitamins and had genes that did not process folate properly, then they were at an increased risk of having an autistic child (Schmidt R.J. et al, 2011). This study has found that taking prenatal vitamins earlier in the pregnancy reduces the risk of autism. However, there has not been a difference in the risk of autism when multivitamins were used. Researchers encourage mother to take prenatal vitamins 3 months before conception and throughout their pregnancy (Schmidt R.J. et al, 2011). The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) did clinical research analyzing the relationship between prenatal vitamins, fortified cereals and the reduced risk of autism. They asked mothers of autistic children whether they took prenatal vitamins before and during their pregnancy. The results showed that women with one of three genetic variants, who did not take prenatal vitamins, were five times more at risk of having an autistic child. However, there was no correlation between fortified cereal consumption and the reduced risk of autism. Science Daily studied women who took folic acid and vitamin B-9 during the first month of their pregnancy, and whether it reduced the risk of having an autistic child. Researchers observed the amount and...
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