If your child carries what’s considered to be the ‘risk’ gene for autism—what scientists refer to as CD38—all you can do is sit on your hands and wait to see if he or she develops the condition, right? Not according to a new study coming out of Germany, which looked at a group of 44 infants carrying two copies of the autism gene.


It turns out that breastfeeding fostered better emotional perception in the at-risk infants than providing nutrition from a bottle. At seven months old, breastfed babies were more likely to connect with displays of positive emotion than those who weren’t breastfed. However, the scientists who conducted the study insist this is a starting-off point rather than a revelation.

"It could be just as likely that the emotional biases we found in 7-month-old infants will diminish later in life and have little impact on the future behavior of the child," said lead researcher Kathleen Krol, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, in Leipzig, Germany.

Based on the research, this provides one more compelling reason to breastfeed if you can. What do you think about this study? Sound off in the comments.



Health Day: Breast-Feeding Tied to Better Emotion Perception in Some Infants