Prenatal vitamins, one-carbon metabolism gene variants, and risk for Autism

Rebecca Jean Schmidt, Robin L Hansen, Jaana Hartiala, Hooman Allayee, Linda C. Schmidt, Daniel J Tancredi, Flora Tassone, Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


Background: Causes of autism are unknown. Associations with maternal nutritional factors and their interactions with gene variants have not been reported. Methods: Northern California families were enrolled from 2003 to 2009 in the CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment) population-based case-control study. Children aged 24-60 months were evaluated and confirmed to have autism (n = 288), autism spectrum disorder (n = 141). Or Typical Devmt. at the Univ. of California-Davis Med. Invest. of Neurodevelopmental Disord. Inst. Using Standardized Clin. Assessments. We Calculated Adjusted Odds Ratios for Associations between Autism and Retrospectively Collected Data on Matern. Vit. Intake before and during Pregnancy. We Explored Intrac. Effects with Funct. Genetic Variants Involved in Onecarbon Metab. As Carried by the Mother or Child. Results: Mothers of Children with Autism Were Less Likely Than Those of Typically Developing Children to Report Having Taken Prenatal Vit. during the 3 Months before Pregnancy or the First Month of Pregnancy . Significant Intrac. Effects Were Observed for Matern. MTHFR 677 TT, CBS rs234715 GT + TT, and Child COMT 472 AA Genotypes, with Gtr. Risk for Autism When Mothers Did Not Report Taking Prenatal Vit. Periconceptionally . Gtr. Risk Was Also Observed for Children Whose Mothers Had Other One-carbon Metab. Pathway Gene Variants and Reported No Prenatal Vit. Intake. Conclusions: Periconceptional Use of Prenatal Vit. May Reduce the Risk of Having Children with Autism, Especially for Genetically Susceptible Mothers and Children. Replication and Mechanistic Investigations Are Warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-485
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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