Faculty Publications

Title

Ockham's Razor and autism: The case for developmental neurotoxins contributing to a disease of neurodevelopment

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Autism, Developmental disorders, Environmental contaminants, Heavy metals, Pollution, Toxins

Journal/Book/Conference Title

NeuroToxicology

Volume

30

Issue

3

First Page

331

Last Page

337

Abstract

Much professional awareness regarding environmental triggers for ASD has been narrowly focused on a single possible exposure pathway (vaccines). Meanwhile, empirical support for environmental toxins as a broad class has been quietly accumulating. Recent research has shown that persons with ASD have comparatively higher levels of various toxins and are more likely to have reduced detoxifying ability, and, that rates of ASD may be higher in areas with greater pollution. This report documents that within the state with the highest rate of ASD, the rate is higher for schools near EPA Superfund sites, t (332) = 3.84, p = .0001. The reasons for the rise in diagnoses likely involve genetically predisposed individuals being exposed to various environmental triggers at higher rates than in past generations.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2009

DOI of published version

10.1016/j.neuro.2009.03.003

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