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Although many parents accept the fact that genetics may play a role in autism spectrum disorders, they also believe that some environmental factors may also be responsible. Lynne Heilbrun, the Autism Research Coordinator at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, has just completed the first study to identify those environmental factors that may be putting our children at risk. Sponsored by the US Department of Defense, Autism Speaks’ Research Organization, the Southwest Research Institute and the Institute for the Integration of Science and Medicine (UTHSCSA), Lynne and her colleagues have completed the first-ever exploration into environmental triggers that may cause autism-like symptoms.
By studying the baby teeth of children with an autism diagnosis, Lynne and her colleagues found high levels of household chemicals, including those made in plastics and pesticides, which have been found to cause neurological damage in humans.
The study has made a true impact on research around the world. Researchers from across the U.S. and other countries such as Japan, Korea, and Norway have visited Lynne’s lab, and National Geographic will featured the teeth in it upcoming October 2014 issue.
To view a complete list of the chemicals found in teeth, as well as further developments on the study, visit "Autism Tooth Fairy Study" on our website blog.
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