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Autism and Air Pollutants

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have added data to the theory that there may be a correlation between air pollution and autism.  The research, which was just published in the journal Epidemiology, suggests that higher exposure to airborne pollutants particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy appears to pose the greatest risk.  Apparently, this is the third study of it's kind showing a correlation, and the researchers suspect that the issue is a negative effect (of pollutants) on synaptic connections while the brain is developing.  So, from a preventive perspective, the ideal scenario is to reduce air pollution.  On the broader subject of the various causal factors that have been implicated in autism, here is an excellent synopsis of "Some Biomedical Based Causal Theories of Autism Spectrum Disorders" from Indiana University at Bloomington.  Among causal factors discussed are impaired gastrointestinal function (leaky gut, imbalanced flora), impaired immune function, and impaired detoxification (methylation cycle abnormalities, glutathione synthesis abnormalities, etc.).
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