Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"MARBLES" - Rare Study Examines Environmental Factors In Autism Disorders

MARBLES, Markers of Autism Risk in Babies - Learning Early Signs, is a rarity. The study being conducted by UC Davis researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto is looking at possible environmental triggers for autism.

The Autism Knowledge Revolution advances almost daily with announcements of genetic studies and breakthroughs in understanding genetic causes or bases for autism spectrum disorders.
But there seem to be fewer studies focusing on possible environmental factors.

The News10/KXTV report quotes Ms. Hertz-Picciotto:

"Autism is very clearly not a single cause type of condition. It's got to be multiple factors," said Hertz-Picciotto, who hopes her study will reveal environmental factors that combined with genetics can trigger autism.

"We expect to find a number of different exposures that affect neurodevelopment and may be related to autism mildly, small increments of risk, for each exposure, but there may be multiple exposures," said Hertz-Picciotto.

To date the study involves 100 women and 59 babies who are being followed for a three year period. Blood samples will be withdrawn at regular periods.

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