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"Health Watch: Baby Teeth Said To Hold Key To Emergence Of Autism Later In Life" -Dr. Max Gomez

  • CBS New York
  • New York, NY
  • (September 13, 2018)

Researchers have found that there are differences in baby teeth even before birth. Teeth start to form around the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. From that point on, teeth are like growth rings in trees, recording the biochemistry of the fetus. It turns out those life signatures that are even present at birth can predict the emergence of autism later in childhood. “What we found was that even before we are born, certain, essential elements are not metabolized or regulated well in those children who end up developing autism,” said Manish Arora, MPH, BDS, PhD, vice chairman of the department of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The two elements that we found to be most dysregulated are zinc and copper.” Dr. Arora and colleagues are able to detect this copper and zinc dysregulation by drilling tiny holes through baby teeth and analyzing the way those elements are embedded in the growth rings of teeth. The goal is to find even earlier markers than teeth. “We can hopefully develop an early warning system, a biomarker or an assay, a test that allows us to tell mothers and fathers that their child is perhaps at higher risk,” Dr. Arora said.

- Manish Arora, BDS, MPH, PhD, Edith J. Baerwald Professor, Vice Chairman, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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