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  • AndreyPopov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're pregnant, a new study released Wednesday may give you one more reason to listen to your doctor if he or she prescribes a folic acid or multivitamin supplement.Researchers in Israel studied 45,300 children born between Jan. 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2007, also looking at survey data that indicated whether their mothers were prescribed multivitamin and folic acid supplements.The children were followed from birth to Jan. 26, 2015."Maternal vitamin deficiency during pregnancy is inconsistently associated with cognitive functioning in offspring. ... Hence, FA (folic acid) and multivitamin supplements are routinely recommended to pregnant women," the study's authors said. "Our study aims to examine the association between maternal supplementation with FA and multivitamins before and/or during pregnancy and the risk of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in offspring."What researchers found: Those mothers who got either or both of the supplements during pregnancy had an estimated 73 percent lower chance of having a baby with an autism spectrum disorder than women who were not prescribed one or both of these supplements.Of the children in the study, 572 were diagnosed with autism."Maternal exposure to folic acid and/or multivitamin supplements before pregnancy was statistically significantly associated with a lower likelihood of ASD in the offspring compared with no exposure before pregnancy," researchers said. "Maternal exposure to folic acid and/or multivitamin supplements during pregnancy was statistically significantly associated with a lower likelihood of ASD in offspring compared with no exposure during pregnancy."The study's authors said, however, that their results "require cautious interpretation given several limitations" and that future studies were needed to replicate the findings.Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, said that this study raises "interesting questions" about preconception and prenatal nutritional status and the resultant association with autism."At this time, general consensus is that there is not one singular cause of autism, but more likely multiple causative factors, however, these findings do reflect a positive association with maternal preconception and prenatal intake of folic acid/prenatal vitamins and a reduced risk of having a baby with autism," Ashton said. "While we need to show biologic causation to definitively reinforce this link, these findings serve as a reminder of the importance of preconception and prenatal nutrition.""It is crucial, however, to not allow these findings to have negative social impact on mothers who have children with autism by blaming them in any way for this outcome, since obviously there are plenty of mothers who did consume adequate preconception and prenatal folic acid, and had an offspring with autism anyway," she said. "We need more research."The study was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • RyanKing999/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Widespread reports of the flu led three Tennessee school districts to remain closed for the rest of the week.School districts in Benton, Humphreys and Stewart counties were scheduled to reopen later this week, but school officials told ABC News they postponed the opening to help prevent the spread of the illness.Mark Florence, director of schools for Benton County, told ABC News the district consulted with community physicians and concluded that due to the high amount of flu cases they have seen this year, extending the Christmas holiday for the rest of the week would be best.He added physicians told him in the last week alone, reported flu cases have doubled.
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  • (ABC News) Sixth-graders at Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts celebrate with classmate Talia Duff after learning they helped her foundation meets its goal of raising $1 million by the end of 2017.  Sixth-graders at a Massachusetts middle school who created a video in December to help raise money for a classmate's medical-research foundation got a belated holiday surprise today."I'm here today to let you guys know that you have helped our foundation to get over $1 million!" Jocelyn Duff told the students and staff as she stood by her daughter, Talia Duff. "You showed the world that many people coming together can make an extraordinary difference -- and most importantly you showed the world what you would do for a friend."PHOTO: The teachers at Ipswich Middle School share the good news with their sixth-grade students: Their viral video helped raise $1 million for classmate Talia Duffs foundation.ABC NewsThe teachers at Ipswich Middle School share the good news with their sixth-grade students: Their viral video helped raise $1 million for classmate Talia Duff's foundation.more +Talia Duff has Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy type 4J (CMT4J), a rare genetic disease that weakens the muscles.In 2017, her foundation Cure CMT4J set a goal of raising $1 million before the year's end to take the science that researchers already have and approach the Food and Drug Administration in hopes of a clinical trial.Jocelyn Duff said that missing the 2017 deadline would mean an additional $1 million to $2 million needed for 2018.Sixth-graders create video to help classmate reach $1M goal for medical researchPHOTO: Sixth-graders at Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts celebrate with classmate Talia Duff after learning they helped her foundation meets its goal of raising $1 million by the end of 2017. ABC NewsSixth-graders at Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts celebrate with classmate Talia Duff after learning they helped her foundation meets its goal of raising $1 million by the end of 2017.more +So, on Dec. 6, Talia Duff's sixth-grade classmates and their teachers at Ipswich Middle School released a video they'd brainstormed and created, educating people about CMT4J and Talia Duff. The video was shared over social media."Talia is just such an important part of our community," said Kathleen Simms, a sixth-grade math teacher at Ipswich. "The video really speaks to that town, this grade, to these students with just how connected they are to her. ... They work with her on a daily basis. They are interacting with her."Before the sixth-graders' video, the foundation had raised more than $467,000 from 1,385 donations. After the video was released and shared Dec. 6, more than $532,000 was raised from over 4,315 donations.PHOTO: Talia Duffs mother, Jocelyn Duff, visited Ipswich Middle School Jan. 3 to share the news with classmates.ABC NewsTalia Duff's mother, Jocelyn Duff, visited Ipswich Middle School Jan. 3 to share the news with classmates.As of today, according to the foundation, its total raised funds stand at more than $1 million from more than 5,700 donations. The foundation said donations had come from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Armed Forces Pacific Theater as well as six countries.According to the foundation, children from across the U.S. donated Christmas and birthday monies.Amelia Mooradd, a sixth-grader at Ipswich who has known Talia Duff for three years, said today that she was excited about being able to help raise money to find a cure for her friend."It's just so amazing and I'm so happy that we finally made it to $1 million," she said.PHOTO: From selling shoelaces to lemonade stands and bake sales, the community of Ipswich, Massachusetts, has been rallying hard to raise $1 million by the end of 2017 for sixth-grader Talia Duff.CureCMT4J and Ipswich Middle SchoolFrom selling shoelaces to lemonade stands and bake sales, the community of Ipswich, Massachusetts, has been rallying hard to raise $1 m
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  • Chalabala/iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- A bus driver in Milwaukee pulled over to help a woman who appeared to be in labor on Christmas Eve.Tayetta Currin was driving her bus route in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, which borders Milwaukee, when she noticed a woman walking toward the street who looked like she needed help, the Milwaukee County Transit System told ABC News.Currin pulled over the vehicle to check on the woman, according to the transit system.Video shows the woman saying, "I think I am going into labor."Currin, along with the help of passengers riding the bus, is seen in the video helping the woman onto the bus.Being a mother herself, Currin was sensitive to what this woman was going through, said the MCTS.The woman told Currin that she was seven months pregnant.Currin and the bus passengers stayed alongside the woman until an ambulance arrived that took her to a local hospital.MCTS said that it didn't get the woman's name and they are unsure if she gave birth, but it is hoping to identify the woman that was helped.
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  • (Courtesy Ashley Santi) McKenna Jodell died in 2008 at the age of nine months.(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- When Kyle Jauregui and his family went to an Arizona grocery store to pick up a birthday cake for his younger sister, they learned the cake had already been paid for.“We were pretty shocked and really grateful,” Jauregui, 23, told ABC News. “When we read the card we all just felt an overwhelming amount of love and just felt really blessed.”
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