Navigation Links
IOM Workshop Calls for Greater Research Focus on Environmental Causes of Autism

Advocacy organizations support shift from exclusively genetic model to environmental research emphasis

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Institute of Medicine (IOM) last Friday released a report from the April 18-19 workshop Autism and the Environment, demonstrating a marked shift in the research agenda from heritability factors to toxic environmental exposures in the development of autism. The National Autism Association (NAA) and SafeMinds have long called for a paradigm shift from children with autism are genetically defective to children with autism are sick and their illness is treatable. The groups hope that the recognition of environmental factors (including vaccines and heavy metals) in autism will lead to effective treatments for those with autism and prevention for susceptible infants.

In response to a request from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the two-day workshop included the nation's leaders in autism research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Autism community advocates from SafeMinds, NAA and Autism Speaks were also invited participants of the workshop, plus scientists from Harvard, the MIND Institute, Columbia University, and more. The experts discussed strategies for developing a broad research agenda focusing on autism and environmental exposures.

Presentations emphasized the urgency to combat the growing national health crisis of autism and focused on the mechanisms by which environmental factors (including vaccines, chemicals, infectious agents, or physiological or psychological stress) can affect children's neurodevelopment. In addition, discussions addressed the infrastructure needs of identified research opportunities -- tools, technologies, and partnerships.

In his introductory remarks, Dr. William Raub, Science Advisory to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, expressed his hopes that the workshop would "prove to be an important milestone in autism research." He stated: "The planning committee recognized that vaccine constituents, especially organic chemicals used as preservatives or adjuvants, obviously qualify as environmental agents that warrant attention. . . . . Other aspects of the autism challenge deserve similar attention, especially the paucity of effective treatments."

Autism experts identified a broad range of research priorities, including: biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of differing subtypes of autism; rigorous analysis of effective treatments; a comparison of the health outcomes of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, immune system and anti-viral therapies, and the need for more effective chelators. See the report appendix for the full list.

Dr. Alan Leshner, publisher of Science and moderator of the workshop, noted the importance of redirecting the research agenda: "I think this has been spectacular and I hope I am right. I would repeat the comment I made fairly glibly before, that is, this is a very important start, and if we don't do something, then shame on us."

Download the workshop report at

For more information, visit and


Rita Shreffler 401-632-6452

Lyn Redwood 404-932-1786

SOURCE National Autism Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Indian to Conduct Workshop at Global AIDS Meet
2. Calls to combat deafness after chemotherapy
3. WHO Calls For Greater Emphasis On Combating AIDS
4. PCT Calls Upon Doctor To Delay Surgeries
5. UN Calls For More Funds For Earthquake Affected
6. MP Calls For Ban On Aspartame
7. Scientist Calls Upon Media To Retract His Work
8. CMHA Calls For Better Trained Police For Dealing With The Mentally Ill
9. US Government Calls For Better Drug Supplies
10. Phone Calls Lend Vital Support to Moms of Mentally Ill Children
11. Report Calls For Better Implementation Of Last Wishes of Terminally Ill
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... The men and women on this ... in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment to their community ... industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. , Becker's Hospital ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer ... incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product ... Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not only ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. ... mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... NE (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs ... searched by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group ... during the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios ... titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new ... any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new 247-page ... therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... potential att använda SyMRI för att hitta ... patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller hjärntumörmetastaser ... AB för att kunna använda SyMRI Research ... SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder från ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. --> Research ... addition of the "Self Administration of High ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: