Children with Older Dads at Greater Risk for Mental Illness

August 29, 2011

Scientific American looks at large parental age differences and questions whether they contribute to an increased the risk for psychiatric disorders.

A mother’s age is often considered a genetic risk factor for offspring, but research is now pointing the finger at fathers, too—particularly when it comes to the mental health of their progeny. Males may have the advantage of lifelong fertility, but as they grow older, the rate of genetic mutations passed on via their sperm cells increases significantly—putting their children at increased risk for psychiatric disorders, especially autism and schizophrenia. Two recent studies support this link at least associatively, but experts remain uncertain if age is the cause of these problems. link to read article

Source: Scientific American

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