Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Study links preemies with autism

Go to AP original
CHICAGO - A small study of toddlers finds that about one-quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test.

The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn't done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought.

That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal and Children's Hospital in Boston.

She emphasized that the results don't mean extreme prematurity causes autism, but rather that it might be among contributing factors.


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