(CNN) - Women aren't the only ones whose biological clocks are ticking: A new study on the genetics of autism finds the sperm of older men may be to blame for many cases of the disorder.
The study , done by researchers in Iceland, indicates that as many as 20-30% of cases of autism and schizophrenia may be linked to the father's advanced age. Unlike findings on disorders such as Down Syndrome , this study found that the age of the mother made no difference.
"This is really a paradigm shift," said Dr. Jamie Grifo, program director of the New York University Fertility Center.
Traditionally, women have borne the brunt of concerns about having a healthy child as they age, while many men have assumed their sperm were no different at 80 than at 20.
"I had my babies at 38 and 39 and I was terrified," said anchor Ashleigh Banfield on CNN Newsroom . "Honey, you're in the conversation now. It's not just me."
While older men have an increased risk of fathering a child with autism, the risk is still low – 2% at the most for dads over 40, according to the new study.
The authors looked at random mutations in genes that are linked to autism and schizophrenia. Looking at 78 families, the researchers found that on average, a child born to a 20-year-old father had 25 random mutations that could be traced to the father's genes. Children born to 40-year-old fathers had 65 mutations.
As men age, "Sperm will have acquired more mutations than when they were younger, which will increase the chance of children they father inheriting a disease-producing mutation," said Richard Sharpe, who does research on male reproductive health at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh .
One scientist said men might want to take a tip from some young women who freeze their eggs to use when they're older.
"Collecting the sperm of young adult men and cold-storing for later use could be a wise individual decision," wrote Alexey Kondrashov , a professor who studies evolution at the University of Michigan's Life Sciences Institute.
Copyright © 2012 CNN. All Rights Reserved
UPDATE: Around 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Terre Haute Police Department responded to the Statesman Inn room 144 at 1407 N 3rd Street. Officers found Randall Norton Jr, 21, with multiple stab wounds to his back and abdomen.
The Washington Police Department responded Friday around 2 a.m. to a complaint of a male subject being shot. The incident happened on Oak Grove Road in Washington near Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family. For some people the term family goes beyond their children.
Thursday night’s church fire in Prairie Creek in Vigo County was still smoldering Friday afternoon.
UPDATE: An assault on Friday around 2 p.m. leaves one man seriously injured. Terre Haute Police responded to the 2100 block of Locust Street in Terre Haute after a report of a battery.
The warmer weather is a thing of the past, and it's expected to get worse.