Monday, August 8, 2011

Autism Risks Still Allude Professionals

Parents of children with autism often ask pediatricians like me about the cause of the condition, and parents-to-be often ask what they can do to reduce the risk. But although there is more research in this area than ever before, it sometimes feels as if it’s getting harder, not easier, to provide answers that do justice to the evidence and also offer practical guidance.
Recent research has taught us more about the complexity of the genetics of autism, but the evidence also has suggested an important role for environmental exposures. It has become a very complicated picture: Genes matter, but we usually can’t tell how. Environmental exposures matter, but we usually don’t know which.

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