Ultrasound and Autism: Association, Link, or Coincidence?

Ultrasound and Autism: Association, Link, or Coincidence?

http://www.jultrasoundmed.org/content/31/8/1261.abstract

“Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect an estimated 1% of children in the United States. The etiology is probably multifactorial, including genetic components and exposure to infections, toxins, and other environmental factors, particularly unfavorable perinatal and neonatal conditions.

There has been an increase in the frequency of diagnosis of ASDs over the last 20 years with a parallel increase in the use of obstetric diagnostic ultrasound, with prenatal ultrasound exposure mentioned as the possible main etiology for autism “epidemics.”

Central nervous system alterations have been described in ASDs, and certain similar changes have been described in animals after exposure to ultrasound. However, analysis of in utero exposure in humans has failed to show harmful effects in neonates or children, particularly in school performance, attention disorders, and behavioral changes.

There is no independently confirmed peer-reviewed published evidence that a cause-effect relationship exists between in utero exposure to clinical ultrasound and development of ASDs in childhood.

Ultrasound is a form of energy with effects in the tissues it traverses, and its use should be restricted to medical indications, by trained professionals, for as short a period and as low an intensity as compatible with accurate diagnosis.”

Practitioners do not record dose during sonograms. This precludes studies the possibility of directly connecting ultrasound and autism. If there is truly a connection, then it will not be found with epidemiology unless it is unforgivably strong.

It worries me a lot. There are too many links between ultrasound and autism for this to be a passing coincidence.

At the very least, more research is urgently needed.

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One thought on “Ultrasound and Autism: Association, Link, or Coincidence?

  1. Pingback: No Link Between Prenatal Mercury Exposure and Autism-Like Behaviors Found « Health and Medical News and Resources

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