A new study found that older men can carry more random genetic mutations that can increase the risk for autism or schizophrenia in a child.
The study, led by Augustine Kong at deCODE Genetics in Iceland found that a father’s age at conception can be responsible for 97 percent of the new, or de novo mutations in his child.
In recent decades, the diagnosis of autism has risen to a rate of 1 in 88 children in the United States.
Previous studies tied the disorders to the advanced age of the mother. Although older mothers are likely to have children with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, the father’s age is primarily responsible for the genetic risk of autism and schizophrenia.
“Our data indicate there is probably much more reason to be concerned with the age of the father, said Dr. Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE and senior author of the study.
De novo mutations are sporadic changes in the DNA that occur in the egg or sperm during conception. Most people are born with these types of DNA changes which are harmless. However, some of the mutations have been connected to the risk of autism and older fathers.
Researchers found that a 20-year-old man transfers an average of 25 genetic mutations to his child while a 40-year-old man passes on 65. As the father gets older, each year adds two mutations in his child’s DNA. Errors can occur among the billions of cells replicating when the genome is copied.
Study authors also found that fathers today are deciding to have children at a much older age.
“Collecting the sperm of young adult men and cold-storing it for later use could be a wise individual decision,” said Alexey Kondrashov of the University of Michigan.
Some mutation experts believe that the age of the father is not necessarily the primary factor.
“The observed effect is a significant one, but not one necessarily to cause great worry among prospective older fathers,” said Darren Griffin, a professor of genetics at University of Kent.
“There are three billion of letters in the DNA code of humans and the numbers of mutations detected in this study are in the dozens…and not realistically likely to deter more mature fathers from having children.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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