Monday, May 05, 2008

Child's autism linked to parents' mental illness

Having a schizophrenic parent roughly doubles risk of disorder, study finds [Reuters]

updated 11:10 a.m. ET, Mon., May. 5, 2008


CHICAGO - In another sign pointing to an inherited component to autism, a study released on Monday found that having a schizophrenic parent or a mother with psychiatric problems roughly doubled a child's risk of being autistic.

"Our research shows that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked on the study.

"We also saw higher rates of depression and personality disorders among mothers, but not fathers," she said in a statement.

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