Monday, November 12, 2007

“Young people who want to have a family may want to start considering the age of the father as much as the mother,”

Sperm from older men also may be more likely to contribute to health problems in children. Recent studies have linked older fatherhood with increased risks of schizophrenia, autism, Down syndrome and other disorders in children. And in this case, “older” means as young as 40.
“Young people who want to have a family may want to start considering the age of the father as much as the mother,” says Dr. Dolores Malaspina, a fertility researcher and chair of the psychiatry department at New York University School of Medicine.
In 2001, Malaspina published a study showing that the chance of a child developing schizophrenia rose in concert with the father’s age. The risk was one in 141 for children of fathers under 25, and one in 47 for those with fathers 50 and older. Other studies have replicated those results. Researchers estimate as many as one in four cases of schizophrenia may be linked with a father’s age.
In another study, Malaspina linked paternal age with a greater chance of autism-related disorders — more than a fivefold increased risk for kids born to fathers 40 or older, compared with those born to dads younger than 30.

Since 1980, birth rates have increased 40 percent for fathers ages 35 to 49, while births involving men under 30 have declined. And Malaspina theorizes the rise in fathers’ ages may explain some of the upswing in autism diagnoses, though this hasn’t been proven.

Dolores Malaspina, MD, MPH, Chairman and Professor of Psychiatry at New York University, received the Distinguished Psychiatrist Award from the American Psychiatric Association.[5] Her research interest is schizophrenia, which she called a collection of different conditions that share a phenomenology. Using an Israeli birth cohort, she and her colleagues found that advanced paternal age explains 25% of the risk for schizophrenia.[6] In further work, she has described a group of patients who have what she calls paternal-age-related schizophrenia (PARS). They were conceived by a father older than 31 years, have no family history of psychosis, and have a sudden illness onset around age 20, with men and women experiencing comparable illness severity. Neurocognitive findings are distinctive.
According to Dr. Malaspina, advanced paternal age is associated with a variety of genetic disorders such as Marfan's syndrome and achondroplasia, and mental disorders such as autism and mental retardation. Because spermatocytes undergo numerous divisions, a 40-year-old man's sperm is the product of 660 divisions; a woman's oocytes undergo 20-30 divisions. Copy errors and mutations are therefore more common in sperm cells. Dr. Malaspina presented evidence that epigenetic effects, which arise from changes in gene expression as opposed to changes in the genetic sequence, are at play in PARS.

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At 10:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

older sperm and throw alcohol into the mix what do we get?


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