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 (1988- 2002) 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