Thursday, October 11, 2007

It is very possible that Paternal Age is the Major Predictor for autism---Harry Fisch, MD

Harry Fisch is the author of The Male Biological Clock, The Patient's Guide to Vasectomy Reversal, The Patient's Guide to Varicocele Repair and Managing The Vasectomy Patient. He is one of the nation's leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility and microsurgical vasectomy reversal. Dr. Fisch is director of the Male Reproductive Center and directs urologic microsurgery in the Department of Urology at Columbia University Medical Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. He is also professor of clinical urology at Columbia University, where he was recently named Teacher of the Year in his department.For over fifteen years, Dr. Fisch has focused his research, practice, and surgery on male infertility and reproduction.


"Everybody was familiar with the concept of women's biological clock, but when we introduced 'male' to the equation, the reaction was 'What are you talking about? Men can have children at any age,'" recalls urologist Harry Fisch, director of the Male Reproductive Center at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and author of The Male Biological Clock. "It became a social issue. Men do not like to be told they have a problem."Nonetheless, a virtual tidal wave of recent research has made it irrefutable: Not only does male fertility decrease decade by decade, especially after age 35, but aging sperm can be a significant and sometimes the only cause of severe health and developmental problems in offspring, including autism, schizophrenia, and cancer. The older the father, the higher the risk. But what's truly noteworthy is not that infertility increases with age—to some degree, we've known that all along—but rather that older men who can still conceive may have such damaged sperm that they put their offspring at risk for many types of disorders and disabilities."Men thought they were getting off scot free, and they weren't. The birth defects caused by male aging are significant conditions that can cause a burden to families and society," says Ethylin Wang Jabs, professor of pediatric genetics at Johns Hopkins University and leader of a recent study showing the link between aging paternity and certain facial deformities in offspring. "We now know that men and women alike could be increasing the risk of infertility or birth defects by waiting too long to have children." In other words, by looking for perfection in your life before you conceive, there's a very real chance you'll have less perfect kids."In the past several years, studies worldwide have found that with each passing decade of their lives and with each insult they inflict on their bodies, men's fertility decreases, while genetic risk to offspring slowly mounts. The range of findings is staggering: Several studies have shown that the older the man, the more fragmented the DNA in his ejaculated sperm, resulting in greater risk for infertility, miscarriage or birth defects. Investigations out of Israel, Europe, and the United States have shown that non-verbal (performance) intelligence may decline exclusively due to greater paternal age; that up to a third of all cases of schizophrenia are linked to increasing paternal age; and that men 40 and older are nearly six times more likely to have offspring with autism than men under age 30. Other research shows that the risk of breast and prostate cancer in offspring increases

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1 Comments:

At 6:23 PM , Blogger Iron-Man said...

Old people shouldn't have kids?? It seems like life is stacked against everyone over 40.

 

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