Autism Is Due To Drugs Or Environment

by on September 28, 2011

Autism Is Due To Drugs Or Environment

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Autism has been considered in the past to be largely due to genetic factors. This assumption is called into question by a recent study carried out at Stanford University, California.

192 pairs of twins were studied, with at least one twin in the autistic spectrum.

In the study, modelling was used to estimate how much of the risk of autism could be attributed to genetics. The modelling showed that less than 40% of the risk can be blamed on genetics.

The authors say that: “the results suggest that environmental factors common to twins explain about 55% of the liability to autism”. They expand on this to say that genetic factors play an important role, but they are much less to blame than was previously thought.

The environmental factors which might be responsible include environmental toxins, and the use of drugs – antidepressants particularly suspected by some – and especially including exposure to these irritants during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Archives of General Psychiatry, July 4th, 2011, Hallmayer, Cleveland, Torres, et al.

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