Air pollution and genetics combine to increase risk for autism

By Alison Trinidad

Exposure to air pollution appears to increase the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among people who carry a genetic disposition for the disorder, according to newly published research led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“Our research shows that children with both the risk genotype and exposure to high air pollutant levels were at increased risk of autism spectrum disorder compared to those without the risk genotype and lower air pollution exposure,” said the study’s first author, Heather E. Volk, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of research in preventive medicine and pediatrics at the Keck School and principal investigator at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Read More »