Did you hear that? That was the sound of the anti-vaccination and anti-anti-depressant crowd having a collective orgasm. The anti-vaxxers have a history of using the boogeyman of Autism but this will be the new rallying cry for those who spread fear about anti-depressants. But I digress.
Here’s the story. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry states that pregnant women who take SSRIs may be twice as likely for their children to have Autism than mothers who don’t. Most of the fear and doubt crowd will cite this as concrete proof that antidepressants are inherently evil.
However, what I’m sure will be lost in the argument is this quote made by the lead author of the study…
The lead author of the study, Lisa Croen, Ph.D., the director of autism research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large nonprofit health plan based in Oakland, emphasizes the preliminary nature of her team’s findings. “This is the first study of its kind to look at the association, and the findings have to be interpreted with a lot of caution,” she says. “We can’t detect causality from one study.”
What that means to the average Joe or Jane is that while the study showed that pregnant mothers who take meds are twice as likely to have an Autistic child there is no proof that the meds are causing the Autism.
It’s a shame really. I know parents personally who have genuinely Autistic children. If groups that use Autism as the ultimate fear weapon to continue to proliferate pretty soon people will believe that everything causes Autism which will lead people to engage in even more stupid behavior. Not only that but if the pendulum swings the other way than actual Autism research will be regarded as nonsense.