Autism rates are on the rise, and there is a growing belief that the cause may not solely lie in genetics but in environmental triggers.
A comprehensive review of multiple studies suggests that researchers should shift their attention from genetic factors to environmental ones when investigating the causes of autism. This new perspective may pave the way for innovative therapeutic approaches.
One significant finding connects autism to alterations in the gut microbiome. This microbial community in the colon plays an essential role in producing vital compounds for our health.
Various external factors are detrimental to these beneficial microbes, which, while not genetically a part of us, exist in a symbiotic relationship with us. A recent publication in a prominent neuroscience journal identified a connection between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and an imbalanced microbial signature. Like any ecosystem, an overabundance of certain strains can disrupt the balance, resulting in issues like an overproduction of specific metabolites and a deficiency in others.
Moreover, the increase in autism rates cannot be solely attributed to improved diagnostic techniques or genetic patterns. Recent data indicates that in 2020, the prevalence of autism was 1 in 36 children, an increase from previous years.
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