A new study shows that children born to parents with diabetes are more likely to develop autism and behavioral problems.
A study conducted by National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Taiwan and published in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology found an association between maternal diabetes during pregnancy and a number of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, including autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ) developmental delay, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
The findings are based on hundreds of thousands of children whose mothers had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the placenta, a round organ that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the fetus.
“These diseases can cause defects in the development of the nervous system,” said study co-author Professor Bao-Ling Kuo of Cheng Kung National University Hospital. They also change genes in newborn cord blood, which contains stem cells, the building blocks of the body.
“Together, these factors suggest that the risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood increases with increasing severity of maternal diabetes,” said Professor Koh.
The research team followed 877,233 children born in Taiwan between 2004 and 2008 under the age of 12.
The impact of type 1 diabetes on neurodevelopmental disorders was the largest, followed by type 2 diabetes and then gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes has been associated with an increased risk of stunting, mental retardation, and epilepsy in children. Type 2 diabetes has been associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, developmental delay, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.
Gestational diabetes has been associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and developmental delay.
Professor Koh said: “Given the significant burden of diabetes and some neurodevelopmental disorders worldwide, reducing their numbers in children born to mothers with diabetes is an unmet need. While various neurodevelopmental disorders may have the same underlying causes, including genetic and environmental factors, the mechanisms may contribute to different brain conditions.”
Previous research has shown that gestational diabetes increases the risk of heart disease in children.
The development of a child is a complex process, and any change in the mother’s body can have consequences for her child. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can change a woman’s insulin sensitivity and lead to the development of gestational diabetes.
Diabetes of any type is usually accompanied by an inflammatory response of the immune system.
Inflammation has also been observed in the brains of autistic children, suggesting that this may be one of the links between the two conditions.
Professor Koh added: “More research is needed to explore how maternal diabetic conditions may affect brain development in the womb.”
Source: asumetech.com, Dianna Clary