Tuesday, January 13, 2009

National Children's Study Examining Environmental Genetic Interaction Will Boost Autism Research Paradigm Shift

Autism is only one of the conditions that will be examined as part of the National Children's Study being conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But the massive study of the interaction of environmental genetic factors will undoubtedly push into motion the autism research paradigm shift called for over the past decade, a paradigm which breaks away from the simplistic "it's gotta be genetic" funding mandates that have restricted expansion of knowledge of environmental causes of autism and limited the ability to find treatments and cure for autism disorders.

Today it was announced that NCS centers at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York will begin recruiting volunteer Study participants this week. Over the course of the study the health of 100,000 children from diverse backgrounds and 105 locations across the US will be studied as they grow to adulthood.

Information gathered during the study will be analyzed periodically and released to the public. This will probably generate more research including research of the genetic-environmental factors and processes giving rise to autism disorders.

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