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Environmental Risk Factors

Largest-ever autism risk analysis provides further evidence that genetic and nongenetic factors both contribute powerfully to ASD
May 03, 2014

The largest-ever study of its kind suggests that the risk of autism is influenced equally by genetic and environmental factors. In scientific terms, environmental factors include a broad range of influences. In autism, these can be as varied as parental age, birth complications, maternal nutrition at conception and exposure to pollution during early brain development.

April 23, 2012

Autism researchers study the link between parental age and autism risk because the relationship provides important clues to the factors that lead to autism. For example, increasing age may bring greater cumulative exposure to toxic chemicals. Older moms have increased risk of pregnancy complications, and as a woman’s eggs age, they are more likely to carry genetic changes that can affect fetal development.