Autism 'Could Be Triggered by Very Low Doses
of Anti-Depressants or Other Chemicals Found in Water Supply'
Autism in genetically
vulnerable people could be triggered by very low levels of chemicals
found in the water supply, researchers have discovered.
the University of Idaho in the US were 'astonished' to find that
just traces of common medication such as anti-depressants can bring
on the disorder.
They made the
discovery by observing the changes in the genetic pathways of fish
swimming in water contaminated with psychoactive drugs.
Dr Michael Thomas said: 'While others have envisioned a causal role
for psychotropic drugs in idiopathic autism, we were astonished
to find evidence that this might occur at very low dosages, such
as those found in aquatic systems.'
The fish were
exposed to two kinds of anti-depressants Prozac and venlafaxine and a drug used to control seizures, called carbamazepine.
were comparable with the highest estimated environmental levels.
patterns of gene activity in the fathead minnows that mimicked those
seen in humans susceptible to the developmental disorder.
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