Autism Risk Higher in Children of Parents With Schizophrenia
Having a parent with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may be a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an international team of researchers reported.
Using data from population registers in Sweden and Israel, the team of researchers conducted a case-control study of the clinical and etiologic relation between ASD and schizophrenia to determine whether a family history of schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder is a risk factor for ASD.
Results revealed a significant association between schizophrenia in a parent and risk of ASD (odds ratio, 2.9). When a sibling had schizophrenia, the risk of ASD was also increased (odds ratio, 2.6). A family history of biopolar disorder was associated with ASD but to a lesser degree.
“Our findings indicate that ASD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders share etiologic risk factors," said the study authors. They added that "future research could usefully attempt to discern risk factors common to these disorders.”