Dynamical features in fetal and postnatal zinc-copper metabolic cycles predict the emergence of autism spectrum disorder
Mount Sinai research could result in an early diagnostic system for autism spectrum disorder.
Curtin P, et al. Science Advances. 2018;4:eaat1293.
Using evidence found in baby teeth, researchers from the Institute for Exposomic Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report that cycles involved in zinc and copper metabolism are dysregulated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and can be used to predict who will later develop the condition. The researchers used the teeth to reconstruct prenatal and early-life exposures to nutrient and toxic elements in healthy and autistic children.
Combined exposure to heavy metals and pesticides can lead to more severe effects on human health compared to their individual effects.
Singh N, Gupta VK, Kumar A, Sharma B. Synergistic effects of heavy metals and pesticides in living systems. Frontiers in Chemistry. 2017;5:70.
Combined exposure to heavy metals and pesticides can lead to more severe effects on human health compared to their individual effects. This review reports that various combinations (pesticides combined with pesticides, pesticides combined with heavy metals, and heavy metals combined with heavy metals) all act synergistically and exhibit more toxicity than a single toxin alone. More work is needed to study the biotransformation of heavy metals and pesticides in combination and the mechanisms by which they affect toxicity.
Assessment of hair aluminum, lead, and mercury in a sample of autistic Egyptian children: Environmental risk factors of heavy metals in autism
Autistic children accumulate metals at a much higher level than children who do not have a diagnosis of autism.
El Baz Mohamed F, Zaky EA, Bassuoni EI-Sayed A, et al. Behavioural Neurology. 2015, Article ID 545674.
Researchers found the mean levels of mercury, lead and aluminum in hair of autistic patients were significantly higher than in controls. Mercury, lead and aluminum levels were positively correlated with maternal fish consumption, living near gasoline stations and the usage of aluminum pans, respectively.
Scientists review literature and raise concerns about denial of environmental toxin link to autism.
DeSoto MC, Hitlan RT. ACTA Neurobiological Experimentals. 2010;70:165–176.
“In this paper, we argue that increasingly over the past decade, positions that deny a link to environmental toxins and autism are based on relatively weak science and are disregarding the bulk of scientific literature. The question about toxic exposure and autism is open, with the weight of evidence favoring a connection that is not well understood. Although it is not possible to say with certainty, it seems likely that the connection would be mediated by genetic susceptibility and ability to detoxify. That is, some people have genotypes that confer higher susceptibility to toxic exposures. If so, then 50 years ago few people would have had enough toxic exposure to have the neurological changes that result in autism.”