Autism and Toxic Exposures

news_views_icon“On Autism, Environmental Toxicants, And Bias,” by Emily Willingham. child_blocks_150
Two clinicians who “utilize detoxification methods in their clinical practices” together with a third author have published an epic review in Translational Psychiatry claiming to evaluate the evidence for the involvement of environmental contaminants in autism. While we obviously want to limit contaminant exposure, autism doesn’t emerge here as the reason for doing so. Something that does emerge, however, looks a lot like bias and not much like systematic evaluation. Given that the review is so wide-ranging (it’s really a laundry list of studies), I’ve focused here on a category that’s likely of greatest interest: ‘autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and toxicant exposures’. (The rest of the review features the same general problems I characterize below.). Read more.

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