A study published this week found that a mother’s fever during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk that her child will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
This research, conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and published in the journal “Molecular Psychiatry”, lends support to the theory that infectious agents may disrupt a fetus’s brain development.
The study examined over 90,000 Norwegian children born between 1999 and 2009, and identified over 15,000 whose mothers had said they had fevers at some point during their pregnancy. Of that group, 583 had children later diagnosed with autism.
This publication coincides with recent attention on the scientifically discredited theory that childhood vaccines cause autism. President Trump has energized some anti-vaccine activists with his request for a vaccine safety commission.
Some parents believe see a link between their child developing autism and vaccinations. The timing of these two events is coincidental, as symptoms of autism typically become clear around age two, the same age when children begin to be vaccinated.