Navigation Links
AMA Journal Publishes Study Showing Evidence of a Major Environmental Trigger For Autism

Peer-reviewed research evidence highlights need for further study

ITHACA, N.Y., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Medical Association journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine has published a new study by researchers at Cornell University indicating evidence of an environmental trigger for autism among genetically vulnerable children. It is the first peer-reviewed study to positively associate the prevalence of autism to a factor related to the levels of precipitation in the areas in which children live.

(Logo: )

"This analysis is an important first step towards identifying a specific environmental trigger, or triggers, for autism," said lead author Michael Waldman of the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. While many autism experts believe that the disorder is triggered by the combination of an environmental trigger and a genetic predisposition (experts have identified genes related to the condition but do not have a full understanding of the full set of related genes), previous literature provides few clues concerning what the important environmental triggers might be. "Our hope is that this study will spur those in the medical community to investigate what the specific trigger might be that is driving our findings, so that countless children can be spared an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis," Waldman said.

Co-author Associate Professor Sean Nicholson of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell added, "We looked at the hypothesis using three different statistical approaches and in each case we found strong evidence consistent with the hypothesis."

Dr. John Williams of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania also contributed to the study. About the team's findings, he said: "These are provocative data that will generate a lot of discussion in the clinician and patient communities. Clearly, further study is required, especially given that many of the possible environmental triggers discussed may be avoidable or correctable."

The researchers discuss several possible environmental triggers related to higher levels of precipitation, including increased rates of early childhood television and video viewing, increased rates of vitamin D deficiency, and an increased exposure to chemicals used in household cleaners that children who spend more time indoors would likely experience. The research team plans to conduct further statistical studies aimed at identifying which of these possibilities are actual triggers for autism.

The study involved analyzing data from counties in the states of California, Oregon and Washington, and it found that county-level, school-age autism prevalence rates and autism prevalence counts are positively associated with a county's average annual precipitation. Additionally, analysis showed that within a county, autism prevalence rates and autism prevalence counts were higher for age groups that were exposed to more precipitation prior to the age of 3. The findings -- based on a statistical estimate of how many autistic children in the sample were diagnosed with autism due to the added or incremental exposure to the possible environmental triggers related to precipitation -- suggest that as many as 30 percent or more of autism diagnoses may be due to an environmental trigger or triggers related to levels of precipitation where the children live.

The study refines previous research on autism conducted by this team. Their latest report considers a specific hypothesis -- that there exists an important environmental trigger for autism among genetically predisposed children that is positively associated with levels of precipitation -- and solidifies the need for further research focused on identifying what the exact environmental trigger might be.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Michael Waldman

SOURCE Cornell University
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The American Journal of Nursing honors Jean and Ric Edelman
2. Springer adds Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders to biomedical journal portfolio
3. AUDIO from Medialink and Genzyme: Study in New England Journal of Medicine Shows Investigational Compound Reduced Relapses and Disability in Patients With MS
4. Integrated Project Management Named a "Top Small Workplace" by The Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces
5. New Journal to Explore Neurodegenerative, Neuroprotective and Euroregenerative Therapies!
7. SAGE-Hindawi launch new open-access journal in dental biomechanics
8. Internews Enlists More Than 1,000 Journalists in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
9. More than 1,000 Journalists Enlisted in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
10. Trends in Prescription Medication Sharing Among Reproductive-Aged Women Reported in Journal of Womens Health
11. Disease Management Journal Changes Name and Expands Focus to Population Health Management
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... Integrated Rental Services (“Integrated Rental”), a ... LLC (“JII”). , With support from JII, Integrated Rental is poised for expansion ... centers, clinics, research labs and medical facilities across the United States. , General ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , ... that its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global Packaging ... also announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the 1980s we have seen vast improvements in scientific research and discoveries, leading ... strides, providing increased hope and relief to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance of volumetric ... the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the 101st Annual ... abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software tools for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... that it has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation ... FierceMobileHealthcare. Next IT Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... A federal court has denied the state of ... filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) challenging the ... law that forces employers and consumers to pay drugstores higher ... must now defend a law that raises health care ... Mark Merritt . --> Arkansas ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Pharma Tech Outlook recently conducted a ... Data Management Solution Providers - 2015 .  After careful ... CEOs, CIOs, VCs, analysts, and the Pharma Tech Outlook ... top 10 clinical data management solution providers (check out ... and 36 respectively). --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  AccuTEC Blades, ... a new corporate logo and brand identity program. ... design and engineering of bladed products where "the ... --> --> Serving manufacturers and ... and auto glass equipment, AccuTEC,s product lines include ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: