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"How Pregnancy May Shape a Child's Autism" - Melinda Wenner Moyer

  • Spectrum News
  • New York, NY
  • (December 05, 2018)

Manish Arora, MPH, PhD, vice chairman in the department of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and colleagues reported an analysis of baby teeth collected from 193 children, including 32 sets of twins in which one twin is autistic and the other is not. The team analyzed the children’s tooth growing rings using a highly sensitive form of mass spectrometry. The levels of metals such as zinc and copper typically cycle together in a pattern — both metals help to regulate neuronal firing — but in autistic children, the cycles are shorter, less regular and less complex than in controls. Dr. Arora’s team created an algorithm based on these group differences that can predict a child’s autism with more than 90 percent accuracy. Dr. Arora’s work is part of a growing field that is attempting to decipher what kinds of environmental exposures increase the odds of autism and how they interact with human biology and genetics.

— 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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