Some believe it’s environmental factors: exposure to pollution, certain household chemicals, flame retardants on furniture — the list goes on.
Others believe it’s directly linked to vaccinations.
But no one has been able to say for sure what causes autism, which is more commonly now called autism spectrum disorders.
One thing is certain, though. Autism is prevalent. And the numbers are shocking. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) now reports that one in 68 U.S. children aged 8 has an autism spectrum disorder. (SOURCE: CDC)
With numbers that high, it’s no wonder people want answers — and the newest study might be able to begin to do just that.
According to research released this week and reported on NBC News, “Autism starts with disrupted genes [and is] a failure of early formation,” a formation experts begins in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
The study proves that genetics are a huge factor, so scientists are now looking at what exactly happens during pregnancy in order to figure out this new link. It has previously been reported that influenza (the flu) during pregnancy increases the risk of autism, but could that really be responsible for such a large number of cases of autism? I doubt it, but others factors that women are exposed to during pregnancy likely also increase the risk of autism. We just don’t know what.
Over all, the study is pretty fascinating — and offers some new hope in understanding autism spectrum disorders. I’m curious to see what the anti-vaccination movement makes of these findings. If, after all, autism begins in pregnancy, surely it cannot be linked to vaccinations.