Thursday, January 08, 2009

Autism Rising - UC Davis Mind Institute Study Points To Environmental Factors

Although Classics Professor Kristina Chew, ASAN co-founder Dora Raymaker, and the once progressive have decreed that autism is most likely entirely genetic, with no environmental contributing factors, recent research says otherwise. The UC Davis MIND Institute has published a news release of a study indicating that the dramatic rise in California autism cases probably arises from environmental factors. The news release also calls for an autism research paradigm shift from simplistic focus on genetic causes of autism to an examination of both genetic and environmental factors. ... with the funding necessary to fully implement the shift. In fact UC Davis Mind Institute has already been a leader in this autism research paradigm shift with its CHARGE program, a major epidemiological study investigating environmental factors and gene-environment interactions in autism disorders.

January 7, 2009 (SACRAMENTO, Calif.)A study by researchers at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute has found that the seven- to eight-fold increase in the number children born in California with autism since 1990 cannot be explained by either changes in how the condition is diagnosed or counted — and the trend shows no sign of abating.

Published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Epidemiology, results from the study also suggest that research should shift from genetics to the host of chemicals and infectious microbes in the environment that are likely at the root of changes in the neurodevelopment of California’s children.

“It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California,” said UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology and an internationally respected autism researcher. .... Hertz-Picciotto said that the study is a clarion call to researchers and policy makers who have focused attention and money on understanding the genetic components of autism. She said that the rise in cases of autism in California cannot be attributed to the state’s increasingly diverse population because the disorder affects ethnic groups at fairly similar rates.


“Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent on studies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental ones. We need to even out the funding,” Hertz-Picciotto said.

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Anonymous said...

Wasn't Chew just taking Grinker's word for it?

Unknown said...

Anonymous 12:23

Possibly, but she is repeating it now as a host blogger.