A new study released has linked the age of a father and the increased incidence of his children having autism or schizophrenia.
According to the study published in “Nature,” random mutations increase as a father ages, which increases the chance a child may carry the mutations for disorders.
This is the first study to show how those mutations can affect children. According to The New York Times, the risk to children with fathers over 40 at birth is around 2 percent.
The study was conducted by the private firm deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik of 78 Icelandic families with children diagnosed with autism or schizophrenia.
The study showed no link between maternal age and the risk for autism or schizophrenia.
“The findings also counter the long-standing assumption that the age of the mother is the most important factor in determining the odds of a child having developmental problems. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities, like Down syndrome, increases for older mothers, but when it comes to some complex developmental and psychiatric problems, the lion’s share of the genetic risk originates in the sperm, not the egg,” The New York Times reported.
The study results indicate gene mutations inherited from the mother are not affected by her age at conception. According to FOX News, the findings are consistent with three American studies published earlier this year stating that fathers are four times more likely than mothers to pass on mutations.
Image: Healing Dream