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Danish Study Suggests Jaundice-Autism Link
Date:10/11/2010

he greater the chances of autism. In addition, it's unknown how and if the infants were treated for jaundice or how that might affect autism risk, he said.

If your baby appears to be jaundiced, notify your pediatrician. Sunlight helps in the breakdown of bilirubin, Halladay said, so doctors may prescribe light therapy for mild to moderate jaundice. And though most jaundice clears up fairly easily, there can be more serious causes and consequences of severe jaundice, she said.

In related news, a study in the November issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that the brothers and sisters of children with autism may be more prone to subtle neurological delays or other problems than had been previously suspected.

The research, based on data from almost 3,000 children tracked by the Interactive Autism Network, found that about one in five siblings who were thought to be unaffected by autism-type characteristics actually experience language delays or speech problems early in life. The study also suggests that the preponderance of autism traits in boys rather than girls may not be as pronounced as experts have believed.

"Many siblings of children on the spectrum have significant, subclinical traits of autism but, for whatever reason, they never actually develop the disorder," study author Dr. John N. Constantino, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a university news release.

More information

Autism Speaks has more on autism.

SOURCES: Alycia Halladay, Ph.D., director, research, environmental sciences, Autism Speaks, New York City; Gary Goldstein, M.D., professor, pediatrics and neurology, Johns Hopkins University, and president and CEO, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; November 2010 Pediatrics; news release, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis


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