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What is the latest research being done on autism?

Autism research is advancing at a rapid pace in the fields of neurobiology, genetics, educational interventions, and targeted, medication treatments. One interesting new approach is to identify autism genes and then develop new drugs based on the gene findings.
Joane Goodroe
Nursing

Prior studies have seen genetics as a possible role in the development of autism. However, two new studies question the risk of environmental conditions including some medications taken by the mother contributing to the development of autism.

These two different studies were published July 2011 in the Archives of General Psychiatry. One study concluded that environmental factors might increase the risk of a child developing autism. Some of the factors include stress, diet, infections, a mother’s age and medications, experts said. The new study didn’t try to determine what factors increased the risk.

In another study published Monday in the same journal, researchers found a higher risk of autism among children born to mothers who took antidepressants during the year before birth, particularly in the first three months of pregnancy.

The cause of autism and who has a higher risk continues to be an area without any definitive conclusions. Researchers continue to exam the complicated puzzle.

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