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The Effects Of Paternal And Maternal Age On Children At Conception

1429 words - 6 pages

In today’s society men and women are choosing to wait to have children until later in life. Much of this is due to the fact that the culture is changing. People don’t want to have children right away because they don’t want to settle down and have a family. They would rather travel the world or start a career, but what they don’t know is that this can have costly effects on their children by having them later on in life. Paternal and maternal age at conception can have many negative effects on the child's life. Some of the effects include shortened longevity, cell mutations, and diseases. The idea that the parents age can possibly affect their offspring was first inspired by a French ...view middle of the document...

The contrast is very significant compared to the germline cell division of a female oocyte which only is divided twenty-two times in the utero. As the male gets older the cells become more divided and mutations becomes more and more likely to occur within the sperm which can lead to errors or microdeletions in the DNA of a baby that is being born. The microdeletions in the DNA of the child are what is thought to be the source of autism and schizophrenia. It has been determined that while a mother only leads to about an average of 15 mutations, a father supplies approximately (25+2(g-20)) mutations that are new. The variable “g” stands for the age of the father. This shows how fathers transmit more mutations to their children than the mother, and that the mutations that are occurring in the cells are linked with the autism (ASD) and schizophrenia (Cochran, Harpending, 2013). Although schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders are highly linked to advanced parental age, they are not the only diseases or disorders that are thought to be affected by the parents age. Other disorders that are associated with parents age include epilepsy, testicular cancer, alzheimers disease, breast cancer, neural tube defects, and other types of mental disorders.
Another question that was put to the test was whether the sex of the baby was a variable for the age of the father at conception. It was found that the daughter is much more likely to inherit the mutations that are caused within the sperm cells. Although scientist have not been able to completely find the reason behind this. Many think it correlates with the daughter specifically receiving the X chromosome from the father (L.A, N.A Gavrilov, 1997).
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorders are five complex disorders that affect a person’s communication skills along with social skills and someone’s behavior, and are more likely to affect boys than girls. Between the years of 1980 and 2003, researchers conducted a study in Denmark of over 1.3 million children. Out of the 1.3 million kids, 9,556 had been affected by autism. They found that the risk of having a child born with autism increased by 1.3 times for a father between the age of thirty-five and forty-five, 1.4 times when the father was above the age of forty, and when fathers were over the age of fifty, they were 2.2 times more likely to have a child born with autism. The research found that when the mother is between the age of thirty-five and thirty-nine is also 1.3 times more likely to have a child with autism, and mother over the age of forty is 1.6 times more likely to have a child with autism. A mother over the age of forty is also fifty percent more likely to have a child with autism than a twenty year old mother. The research also found that the having both older parents was no different than having two older parents, and the statistics were fairly similar. This increase of chance of autism is all due to the fact...

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