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J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2012 Feb 22;4:27-36. doi: 10.4137/JCNSD.S9058. Print 2012.

Triggers for autism: genetic and environmental factors.

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Research Center for Child Mental Development, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.


This report reviews the research on the factors that cause autism. In several studies, these factors have been verified by reproducing them in autistic animal models. Clinical research has demonstrated that genetic and environmental factors play a major role in the development of autism. However, most cases are idiopathic, and no single factor can explain the trends in the pathology and prevalence of autism. At the time of this writing, autism is viewed more as a multi-factorial disorder. However, the existence of an unknown factor that may be common in all autistic cases cannot be ruled out. It is hoped that future biological studies of autism will help construct a new theory that can interpret the pathology of autism in a coherent manner. To achieve this, large-scale epidemiological research is essential.


animal models; autism; environmental factors; prevalence; susceptibility genes

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