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Chemicals suspected of causing autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by richvank, May 4, 2012.

  1. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Hi, all.

    Since autism and ME/CFS have a lot in common biochemically, I think this might be of interest
    to people on Phoenix Rising:

    Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mt. Sinai Medical School and two coauthors have written an editorial in the journal
    Environmental Health Perspectives on the above topic:

    Here is the last part of their editorial:

    "To begin formulation of a systematic strategy for discovery of
    potentially preventable environmental causes of autism and other
    NDDs, the Mount Sinai Childrens Environmental Health Center,
    with the support of the NIEHS and Autism Speaks, convened a
    workshop on Exploring the Environmental Causes of Autism and
    Learning Disabilities. This workshop produced a series of papers
    by leading researchers, some of which are published in this issue of
    Environmental Health Perspectives. It also generated a list of 10 chemicals
    and mixtures widely distributed in the environment that are
    already suspected of causing develop mental neuro toxicity:

    Lead (Jusko et al. 2008)
    Methylmercury (Oken et al. 2008)
    Polychlorinated biphenyls (Winneke 2011)
    Organophosphate pesticides (Eskenazi et al. 2007; London et al.
    Organochlorine pesticides (Eskenazi et al. 2008)
    Endocrine disruptors (Braun et al. 2011; Miodovnik et al. 2011)
    Automotive exhaust (Volk et al. 2011)
    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Perera et al. 2009)
    Brominated flame retardants (Herbstman et al. 2010)
    Perfluorinated compounds (Stein and Savitz 2011).

    "This list is not exhaustive and will almost certainly expand in the
    years ahead as new science emerges. It is intended to focus research in
    environmental causation of NDDs on a short list of chemicals where
    concentrated study has high potential to generate actionable findings in
    the near future. Its ultimate purpose is to catalyze new evidence-based
    programs for prevention of disease in Americas children."

    Best regards,

  2. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

    Hi rich,

    I was just wondering if these are seen as causes or triggers after the damage is done to their bodies. Which one of these would be more likely to actually cause autism ? Or is there one in particular that if removed would be more likely to result in an improvement ?

    My understanding is that once the gut is compromised, however that happens, their bodies can't detox these and they can respond to any and possibly all of these as triggers.

    I seem to react to most the ones you listed ... I only react to some of these as excitotoxins tho. Some of these just make me feel icky ... thanks for all you do here ... tc ... x
  3. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Hi, xchoc.

    As I understand it, in at least several of the studies cited, the researchers analyzed the mothers for the levels of these toxins during pregnancy, and then tracked the health of the children after they were born, and correlated the results. In others, they tracked the levels in the children over time, and correlated with their brain development. So this would suggest that these chemicals are causal, and not just accumulated in the child's body as a result of the illness. However, I do agree that the latter occurs, also, because the detox system becomes dysfunctional in autism, just as it does in ME/CFS.

    However, with regard to the mothers, I think that the toxin levels in the mothers must have resulted both from their toxic exposures as well as from the state of their detoxication systems, including the genetic factors affecting their detoxication systems as well as their status of nutrients that affect the detox system, such as sulfur-containing amino acids.

    With regard to ME/CFS, in analyzing various cases, I have seen data implicating nearly all of these toxins at elevated levels in one case or another. Lead and mercury are often elevated in toxic metals testing in ME/CFS. I'm aware of one PWC who died as a result of a big exposure to brominated flame retardants. An additive to gasoline shows up in quite a few urine organic acids test results. Organophosphate pesticides were involved in Gulf War Illness cases, especially for those who had a certain genetic version of the PON1 enzyme. I've seen several cases in which the people had genetic polymorphisms in detox enzymes that normally detox polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The people who were living in NYC during the 9/11 attacks inhaled a great variety of toxins from the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings, and I've seen test results from two cases of ME/CFS caused by that.

    Quite a few of these toxins are normally detoxed by glutathione conjugation, and glutathione is depleted in both autism and ME/CFS.

    Best regards,


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