Autism News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about autism symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

The Lyme Induced Autism Foundation Recommends Avoidance of Genetically Modified Foods

 

Ear of cornA position paper from The Lyme Induced Autism Foundation (LIA) calls for people, especially those affected by Lyme disease, autism, and related illnesses, to stop eating genetically modified foods which they say have not been proven safe.

Although human studies on the health effects of genetically modified organisms (GMO), also referred to as GM foods, are lacking at present, the LIA believes they should be avoided until proven safe, especially the most vulnerable such as those suffering autism, Lyme disease, and other chronic illnesses.

In their position paper the LIA said it was joining other leading health organizations to ask medical practitioners to recommend diets free from all GMOs. Previously, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, a leading group of physicians practicing in environmental medicine, had made a similar plea.

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Phthalate containing vinyl and PVC floors linked to autism

 

A recent study has found a link between the use of vinyl and PVC flooring in homes and the risk of autism.

Recently the focus of autism research has slowly shifted from purely genetic influences to environmental factors and how these interact with genetic traits - perhaps switching on genes which trigger autism (a developing area of science known as 'epigenetics').

Researchers have previously noted a correlation between a mother’s exposure to organochlorine pesticides during pregnancy and autism; rates increasing with proximity to agricultural land and amount of pesticide used. Studies have not previously linked anything in a child's environment to their chances of developing autism however.

Now Swedish researchers studying associations between indoor air pollution and allergies may have inadvertently done just that.

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Vaccines not cause of autism court rules

 

In early February a US court ruled that parents who believe their children developed autism as a result of vaccinations were not entitled to compensation.

More than 5500 claims have been filed for compensation from a fund set up to compensate those who suffer injury as a result of vaccination - The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The ruling was given in a test case involving children with autism from three different families.

Many parents are convinced that their children developed autism as a direct result of childhood vaccinations such as the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. This vaccine caused great controversy after British doctor Andrew Wakefield published a paper linking it with bowel disease and autism.

Solid scientific data linking vaccines and the development of autism has so far not been forthcoming but studies have hinted at possible associations. The leading theories regarding how vaccines might trigger autism are:

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Autism rise is real and linked to the environment

 

According to new research the significant increase in the numbers of children diagnosed with autism in California cannot be explained by changes in the way doctors diagnose the condition but is most likely due to environmental exposures.

Since the early 1990s the number of children diagnosed with autism each year has been climbing steadily in California, across the United States, and across the developed world. In 1990 there were only 205 news diagnoses of autism in the state of California compared to more than 3000 in 2006.

Many experts and commentators have attributed the rise solely to greater awareness of the symptoms and changes in the diagnostic criteria which mean more cases are picked up and children with milder symptoms are now diagnosed as having autism. The authors of a new study however say that this is not the case and that environmental factors that babies and foetuses are exposed to, such as pesticides, viruses and chemicals in toys and household products, should be the focus for more research.

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Autism risk linked to age of parents

 

A new study finds that the age of both mothers and fathers is a major factor in the risk that a child will develop an autism spectrum disorder.

A major epidemiological study of American children published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology has found that older parents, both mothers and fathers, are more likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The study results suggest that mothers aged 35 or older have a 30% greater chance of having an autistic child compared to mothers aged 25 to 29, while fathers older than 40 had a 40% higher risk than those aged 25 to 29.

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