September 6, 2016 — In a disturbing new finding, first-trimester ultrasound was linked to greater severity of autism symptoms, including poorer cognitive outcomes and increased repetitive behaviors, in fetuses with a genetic predisposition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to research published online September 1 inAutism Research.
In addition, having a first-trimester ultrasound correlated with increased repetitive behaviors for all children with ASD in the study, regardless of gender or the presence of identified CNVs.
“These data suggest that heterogeneity in ASD symptoms may result, at least in part, from exposure to diagnostic ultrasound during early prenatal development of children with specific genetic vulnerabilities,” the authors wrote.
The research team, which also included members from the University of Washington, did not assess if first-trimester ultrasound caused autism — only whether it affected the severity of ASD symptoms.
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