(NaturalPath) According to a study out of the University of Washington Health Sciences and published in Autism Research, for children with autism and a class of genetic disorders, exposure to diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to increased autism severity.

The study looked at, not what causes autism, but the variability of symptoms among kids with autism.

The FDA guidelines currently recommend that diagnostic ultrasound only be used for medical necessity.

“I believe the implications of our results are to bolster the FDA guidelines,” said one researcher.

The data from the study was derived from 2,644 families among 12 research sites across the United States.

The lead author notes, “There has been a real struggle in why there are so many kids with autism. Where does this disorder develop from? How do kids get autism? And the second question is why are kids with autism so different from each other? This study really looks at the second question. Within kids with autism, what are some of the factors that may result in a child having a good outcome or higher IQ or better language or less severity versus a child who maybe takes more of a hit and continues to struggle throughout their lifespan?”

To tackle this problem, the researchers used a three-pronged approach. They looked at the genetic vulnerability to the disorder, any outside stressors and last, understanding that the outside stressor has to impinge on a kid at a certain time. The outside stressor this study looked at specifically was ultrasound.

With these results, the researchers intend to look at how and why there is this link in the first trimester between ultrasound and autism severity. They need to understand how the ultrasound exposure could contribute to autism incidence.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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