Subject: Increase in Autism Baffles Scientists

From: Robina Suwol
Date: 18 Oct 2002
Time: 12:06:07
Remote Name:


New York Times - the CDC is investigating 13 states - Increase in Autism Baffles Scientists By SANDRA BLAKESLEE. Trying to account for a drastic rise in childhood autism in recent years, a California study has found that it cannot be explained away by statistical anomalies or by a growing public awareness that might have led more parents to report the disorder. But the study's authors, who reported their findings yesterday to the California Legislature, said they were at a loss to explain the reasons for what they called an epidemic of autism, the mysterious brain disorder that affects a person's ability to form relationships and to behave normally in everyday life. "Autism is on the rise in the state, and we still do not know why," said the lead author, Dr. Robert S. Byrd, an epidemiologist and pediatrician at the University of California at Davis. "The results are, without a doubt, sobering." As diagnoses of autism have increased throughout the nation, experts and parents have cast about for possible explanations, including genetics, birth injuries and childhood immunizations. The California study found that none of these factors could explain an increase of the magnitude reported there - more than triple from 1987 to 1998."

Last changed: March 14, 2006