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Environmental Factor

Differential immune responses and microbiota profiles in children with autism spectrum disorders and co-morbid gastrointestinal symptoms
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms have an imbalance in their immune response that affects behavior and quality of life.

CITATION

Rose DR, Yang H, Serena G, Sturgeon C, Ma B, Careaga M, Hughes HK, Angkustsiri K, Rose M, Hertz-Picciotto I, Van de Water J, Hansen RL, Ravel J, Fasano A, Ashwood P. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2018;70:354-368.

SUMMARY

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and concurrent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms have a more imbalanced immune response, a more disturbed gut microbiome and worse behavioral outcomes (such as irritability, agitation, social withdrawal, lethargy, hyperactivity and noncompliance) than ASD children without GI symptoms. The study additionally looked at typically developing children with and without GI symptoms and found that ASD+GI children stood out compared to those two groups as well. Children with ASD plus GI symptoms may have a “propensity” toward leaky gut that contributes to their other symptoms and clinical outcomes.

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The impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance.

Citation

Zhang X, Chen X, Zhang X. The impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2018;115(37):9193-9197.

 

Summary

Long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. Effects are stronger as people become older, especially for men. Air pollution substantial health and economic costs.

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Prenatal stress, maternal immune dysregulation, and their association with autism spectrum disorders
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Two prenatal exposures—stress and maternal immune dysregulation—are associated with autism, probably in combination with other genetic and environmental risk factors.

Citation

Beversdorf DQ, Stevens HE, Jones KL. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2018;20:76.

 

Summary

Prenatal stress and disruption of a pregnant woman’s immune response (“maternal immune activation”) are two environmental factors associated with the increased incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the fact that, in many cases, these prenatal exposures do not result in ASD suggests an “interaction with multiple other risks.” Some evidence points to greater susceptibility to prenatal stress and maternal immune dysregulation in male offspring.

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Can awareness of medical pathophysiology in autism lead to primary care autism prevention strategies?
Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Following implementation of changes in a pediatric medical practice to address autism risks, no new cases of autism occurred.

Citation

Mumper E. North American Journal of Medicine and Science. 2013;6:134-144.

 

Summary

In 2005, the author’s pediatric practice implemented seven changes to address autism risks, focusing on minimizing environmental toxicant exposure, encouraging prolonged breastfeeding, recommending probiotics, providing nutritional counseling, limiting use of antibiotics and acetaminophen and allowing a modified vaccine schedule. No new cases of autism occurred in children born between 2005 and 2011, even though the CDC autism rate would have predicted about six new cases in the practice over that period. The author cautions that “epidemiology may be too blunt a tool to determine all risks for subsets of the population who may be more vulnerable to vaccine reactions.”

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Aluminum and silica in drinking water and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline: findings from 15-year follow-up of the PAQUID cohort
Published: 2008
SYNOPSIS

Higher aluminum intake from drinking water is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

CITATION

Rondeau V, Jacqmin-Gadda H, Commenges D, Helmer C, Dartigues JF. Aluminum and silica in drinking water and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline: findings from 15-year follow-up of the PAQUID cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2009;169(4):489-496.

SUMMARY

A long-term study in Southern France found that a higher intake of aluminum from drinking water was linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, an increase in silica intake (10 mg/day) reduced the risk of dementia. A unique feature of the study, which followed elderly individuals for 15 years, was its measurement of individual daily intake of drinking water (both tap and bottled water), in addition to assessing the geographical concentrations of aluminum and silica.

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Public health and economic consequences of methyl mercury toxicity to the developing brain
Published: 2005
SYNOPSIS

In utero exposure to methylmercury from power plants and seafood is associated with lifelong loss of intelligence and billions of dollars in lost productivity.

CITATION

Trasande L, Landrigan PJ, Schechter C. Public health and economic consequences of methyl mercury toxicity to the developing brain. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2005;113(5):590-596.

SUMMARY

This study shows that the IQ losses associated with methylmercury toxicity cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars in lost productivity each year. Hundreds of thousands of American children in any given year have cord blood levels of methylmercury associated with lowered intelligence, traceable to in utero exposure to power plant emissions or to maternal seafood consumption. The loss of intelligence that results “causes diminished economic productivity that persists over the entire lifetime of these children”—amounting to about $8.7 billion annually.

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