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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

How environmental exposures can contribute to autism and ADHD

Percent of Youth 4-17 ever diagnosed with Atte...

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From an August 2011 posting by PHILIP J. LANDRIGAN, MD at

Each year, biologically based disorders of brain development – autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental retardation, dyslexia, and subclinical neurodevelopmental disabilities – affect between 400,000 and 600,000 of the four million babies born in the United States. This means that between 10% and 15% of American children have some kind of learning disability.

Reported rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are sharply increasing.  The CDC reports that the rates of ASD increased by 57% between 2002 and 2006, now affecting 1 of every 110 babies born in the U.S.

With this rise in reported diagnosis, researchers are asking new questions about the causes of autism.  Until recently, most of this research into the causes of ASD has focused on genetic factors.  These investigations have made rapid progress and have identified a series of genetic abnormalities that are linked to autism. Taken together, these identified genetic causes account for about 30 to 40% of cases of autism.

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August 26, 2011 - Posted by | Public Health | ,

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