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Ockham's Razor and autism: The case for developmental neurotoxins contributing to a disease of neurodevelopment - Source: Neurotoxicology, Apr 2009

  [ 40 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By M. Catherine DeSoto • • April 24, 2009

[Note: Ockham’s razor, also spelled Occam’s razor, is a medieval rule of thumb that the simplest explanation for something is usually best.]

Much professional awareness regarding environmental triggers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been narrowly focused on a single possible exposure pathway (vaccines).

Meanwhile, empirical support for environmental toxins as a broad class has been quietly accumulating. Recent research has shown that:

• Persons with ASD have comparatively higher levels of various toxins

• And are more likely to have reduced detoxifying ability,

• And that rates of ASD may be higher in areas with greater pollution.

This report documents that, within the state with the highest rate of ASD, the rate is higher for schools near EPA Superfund sites, t (332) = 3.84, p = .0001.

The reasons for the rise in diagnoses likely involve:

• Genetically predisposed individuals,

• Being exposed to various environmental triggers at higher rates than in past generations.

Source: Neurotoxicology, Apr 2009;30(3)doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2009.03.003, by DeSoto MC. Department of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA. [E-mail:]

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