Presentation on theme: "Environmental aspects of Autism Alisa Patel University California, Irvine."— Presentation transcript:
Environmental aspects of Autism Alisa Patel University California, Irvine
What is Autism?
History Introduced first in 1911 by Eugen Bleuler Term used to describe person’s exclusion of the outside world and withdrawal from social life 50’s &60’s thought it was caused by detached uncaring mothers In 1977, Dr. Susan Folstein and Dr. Michael Rutter published the first autism twin study, which revealed evidence of a genetic basis for autism. Over the next ten years, researchers conducted additional studies that further yielded evidence of a genetic component to autism as well as refined the symptoms of autism.
Why the Increase? Changing definitions &diagnostic criteria Other factors: methods for case finding, availability of services, focus on early intervention for preschoolers Possible environmental exposures: mercury, viruses, autoimmune disorders, even childhood vaccinations?
Glutathione Glutathione most important tool for detoxifying and excreting metals Imbalance in the ratio of active to inactive glutothione Autistic children showed a significant impairment to maintain a healthy gluthathione
Mercury Toxicity to the developing brain and nervous system 1/6 pregnancies exposed to methyl mercury above EPA recommended level Exposed from seafood consumption HepB vaccinations carry thimerosal ( ) Preservative in vaccines Removed from shelves
Environmental triggers are a neglected component of autism research Environmental chemicals that provoke oxidative stress could contribute to autism or other health problems Impaired antioxidant production provides a common rationale for many disparate features of autistic disorders Autism rates higher, Glutathione levels lower in males