Another smoking gun for environment/autism link

March 17, 2014

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An analysis of 100 million US medical records reveals that autism and intellectual disability rates correlate with genital malformation incidence in newborn males, an indicator of exposure to harmful environmental factors. The study also finds that Autism and intellectual disability incidence decreases dramatically in states with stronger regulations on diagnosis.Read article.

An innovative methodology from researchers at the University of Chicago was used to detect the role of environment on population level for autism risk. The study shows the strong contribution of non-genetic, i.e., environmental factors driving autism rates. Our only quibble is the author’s supposition that vaccines play a weak role. This inference is due to the methodology not incorporating time trends but only single time point geographic differences. Since vaccines are given across geographies, this methodology would not be able to detect any effect of the burgeoning vaccination schedule over time. Nevertheless, a much needed and welcomed study.

And once again, this shows us that the research agenda currently being pursued by the federal agencies charged with unlocking the mysteries of autism and providing the proper response – more specifically, efforts guided by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) under Dr. Tom Insel – is misguided.  This is because Dr. Insel continues to direct a line of research that focuses on genetics.  For years now, overwhelming evidence has been published indicating the environment relates to autism’s causation more strongly than genetics.  And now, even intergeneration influences are being increasingly linked to the environment.

Dr. Insel is using a rifle to hunt ducks in the forest and trying to find them with a microscope.  Wrong means to succeed, wrong place to look and wrong method to find what you’re looking for.

Read the article.  Then tell your Senators and Representatives that the IACC is broken and needs fixing – starting with new leadership and a new agenda!

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