Monday 19 February 2018

Older dads in link to autistic grandchildren

John von Radowitz

Older fathers are more likely than younger men to have grandchildren with autism, research has shown.

Scientists analysed records on almost 6,000 individuals with autism born in Sweden from 1932.

The study found that men who had a daughter at the age of 50 were 1.79 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism than those aged 20 to 24. Having a son at 50 or older increased the chance of having an autistic grandchild 1.67 times.

Lead researcher Emma Frans said: "We know from previous studies that older paternal age is a risk factor for autism. This study goes beyond that and suggests older grandpaternal age is also a risk factor for autism."

Experts think the link with paternal age could be explained by genetic mutations in sperm cells, which build up over time.

Irish Independent

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