A New Autism Risk Factor: Moms with Polycystic Ovaries

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Prenatal exposure to elevated levels of male sex hormones may play a role in the development of autism, results of a new study suggest

Mom’s ovaries could hold clues to some autism cases, new research suggests—and this time it’s not because of genetic vulnerabilities carried in her eggs. A new, large-scale study out of Sweden suggests that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)—an endocrine disorder that affects 5 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age—have an increased risk of giving birth to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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