Dear 2014, What were the Major Discoveries in Autism Research?


As 2014 draws to an end, we here at ICare4Autism are reflecting on some of the major discoveries made in Autism research over the past year. Health content reporter Lacie Glover recently drew attention to the two areas of major research and growth development over the past year.

The first major area of major research was in understanding the relationship between environmental factors and the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) analyzed over 100 million medical records where they compared both autism and intellectual disability rates with genital malformations in newborn males. Since, malformations are often an indicator of exposure to toxins, they looked for a correlation and found one. UCMC published a steady a increase in malformations and autism prevalence related to environmental toxins presence.

Following this study, the University of Wisconsin examined air pollution exposure for developing children in North Carolina and California. The states were selected due to their similar climates but and differing pollution levels. The study concluded that autism birth rates were highest during heavy air pollution seasons.

The second area of research growth in autism draws attention to the importance of early detection. This year, the Autism Genome Project discovered that genetic testing method called copy nerve variant testing (CNV) is an effective way to predict the autism. This discovery has powerful implications since early detection and treatment is one of the key aspects of improving quality of life for autistic children.

To read more on Glover’s collection of major research discoveries in Autism from 2014, please click here.

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