Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) and vitamin D

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Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) and vitamin D

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The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that result in abnormalities of socialization, communication and behavior. There has been an apparent increase in the prevalence of ASD’s in the last 20 years. While the exact etiologies of the ASD’s are not known, scientists believe that gene/environment interactions are involved in the development of ASD’s. Genes make some individuals more susceptible to environmental factors. One environmental factor that could be involved in the development of ASD’s is vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and early childhood development. Vitamin D is an important neurosteroid involved in brain development. Animal studies have shown that gestational vitamin D deficiency results in offspring with anatomical abnormalities similar to those found in autism. Developmental vitamin D deficiency has been found to dysregulate 36 proteins involved in mammalian brain development. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and throughout childhood could possibly help prevent some cases of ASD.


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Miller, Barrie. (2010). Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) and vitamin D. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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