Among these artifacts are the recent broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism and greatly increased diagnosis of autism at younger ages. Both these factors could make it seem like there are more autism cases than there were before.
"Time is passing and science has a lot to do to find the real causes of autism," she says. "A lot has changed in the environment over the last 10 to 15 years. And I paint with a broad brush when I say environment: These changes include things like medications people take and assisted reproduction technology as well as what is Air Max Tavas Leather Running Shoes
Hertz Picciotto notes that her study does not account for one potentially huge artifact: The fact that today's parents are vastly more aware of autism than they were a decade ago.
Autism Cases on the Rise
These artifacts do explain part of the rise in autism cases, shows a rigorous study by Irva Hertz Picciotto, PhD, MPH, chief of the division of Air Max Tavas Pure Platinum
"There is an enormous increase in awareness. Everybody knows about autism now, and they didn't 16 years ago," Goldstein tells WebMD.
"When you put it all together, this doesn't come close to explaining the increases in the last 10 years," Hertz Picciotto tells WebMD. "The more you whittle away at this increase, the more you have to say that what is left over is real. . Given that autism cases keep going up, and can't be fully explained by artifacts, environmental factors deserve serious consideration."
But even taken together, they don't explain even half of the huge increase in cases.
Hertz Picciotto notes that the lion's share of autism funding is going to genetic studies. She argues that it's high time more effort was Nike Air Max Tavas Women
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put into looking for environmental factors that cause autism in genetically susceptible individuals.
Autism can't be diagnosed unless you're looking for it so parent awareness has a huge potential effect on the rise of autism, says Gary W. Goldstein, president and CEO of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
Autism expert Michael L. Cuccaro, PhD, associate professor of human Air Max 2015 Grey And Green genetics at the University of Miami, praises Hertz Picciotto's systematic study of the rise in autism cases. He agrees with her that it's time to consider environmental factors as part of the cause of autism.
Many researchers have believed that the continuous increase in autism cases over the last decade particularly the huge increase seen in California isn't real, but can be explained by "artifacts."
environmental and occupational health at the University of California, Davis.
"The awareness thing is very hard to quantify," Hertz Picciotto says. "But at some point, as more and more parents became aware of autism, the increase should have leveled off. Instead we see a continued increase in autism."
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