While there is no concrete answer as to why some children have autism and others don’t, scientists have come up with a few theories behind what causes the neurodevelopmental disorder. According to a new study reported on Tuesday, one possible explanation could be that a mother’s fever during pregnancy may raise the risk of autism, according to The Washington Post. A pregnant woman’s high temperature during her second trimester was especially concerning as researchers found these children were 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
The odds were far greater if a mother reported having three or more fevers after 12 weeks of pregnancy — or the beginning of the second trimester, which lasts from week 13 to week 28 — according to the study published by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
To get to these findings, the researchers followed nearly 96,000 Norwegian children born between 1999 and 2009 and found that 15,701 children — or 16 percent — whose mothers said they had fevers at some point in their pregnancies.
Of those children, 583 of them were later diagnosed with autism. After analyzing the data, they concluded that the risk of autism was “increased by…