Baby Teeth Link Toxic Substances to Autism
Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City have discovered a link between second- and third-trimester and post-natal exposure to toxic substances and certain essential elements and an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders.
Scientists used baby teeth to determine the timing of the exposures, because timing plays an important role in determining autism risk. They used biomarkers to analyze baby teeth from twins—identical as well as non-identical—in which at least one twin had an autism diagnosis. Baby teeth from normally developing twins were used as a study control.
According to Manish Arora, PhD, Director of Exposure Biology at the Senator Frank Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory at Mount Sinai, researchers discovered significant differences between children with autism and their healthy siblings in their uptake of lead, manganese, zinc, and related substances during certain developmental periods. More research is needed to determine if these differences are due to variations in exposure or how the substances are taken in, processed, and broken down by the body.