Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Autism epidemic caused by old dads?

Men have a biological clock, too: Landmark study warns potential dads not to put off fatherhood as they are responsible for majority of faulty genes | Mail Online


It was thought the woman’s age was key to a child’s health, but researchers found older fathers pass down the majority of the faulty genes linked to conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. 
Scientists in Iceland discovered 97 per cent of genetic mutations were caused by the age of the father, while the mother’s age had no effect at all.  
The child of a 40-year-old dad had a two-and-half times as many potentially damaging mutations as the offspring of a 20-year-old, and they increase with every passing year, the authors said.  
Experts say the study raises the possibility that men in their 30s should freeze their sperm if they are planning to have children late in life.  
While it was suspected that the trend towards late fatherhood may be related to rising rates of autism, this study is the first large-scale test.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2192136/Men-biological-clock-Landmark-study-warns-potential-dads-fatherhood-responsible-majority-faulty-genes.html#ixzz24J690ma6


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