Babies near Traffic and the Risk of Autism

Traffic-Related Air Pollution, Particulate Matter, and Autism(Abstract, Heather E. Volk, Fred Lurmann, Bryan Penfold; Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Rob McConnell, Arch Gen Psychiatry, Nov 2012)

Also discussed here: Autism and early exposure to traffic pollution linked(Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 26, 2012)

And here: Autism Risk for Developing Children Exposed to Air Pollution: Infant Brain May Be Affected by Air Quality(Science Daily, Nov. 26, 2012)

And here: Older dads pass down more mutations: the implications(Rosie Mestel Los Angeles Times, Aug. 24, 2012)

And here: A direct characterization of human mutation based on microsatellites(Abstract,James X Sun, Agnar Helgason, Gisli Masson, Sigríður Sunna Ebenesersdóttir, Heng Li, Swapan Mallick, Sante Gnerre, Nick Patterson, Augustine Kong, David Reich & Kari Stefansson, Nature Genetics, Aug. 23, 2012)
New findings on the causes of autism were published recently with a focus on the environment and genetics as they affect the fetus and new-borns although uncertainty exists in the research community. One study in California found that exposure of babies to nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants found near roads with heavy traffic was linked to three times higher incidences of autism. Another study indicated that the mutations that occur in older fathers which double over a typical lifetime also lead to genetic changes associated with autism in their offspring. As people live longer, “old age diseases” such as autism become more a concern and more needs to be done to reduce the threats at the start of life, starting with keeping residences with mothers further away from traffic.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE


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