Could delayed childbearing, infertility treatment, and premature birth contribute to autism?
Research presented last week in Philadelphia suggests the answer is yes.
The International Meeting for Autism Research, attended by more than 1,700 scientists and advocates at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, offered provocative findings from studies of large population groups. Such epidemiological research can uncover risk factors that are too subtle to detect in small groups or individuals.
At this point, experts can only guess at the biological basis for the links they're finding. And those clues are not enough to recommend changes in, for example, infertility treatment.
Still, knowing who may be at risk of autism could improve diagnosis, which might enable earlier intervention.