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Posted Tue Jul 10 2012: from Environmental Health News:
New evidence for flame retardant's role in autism
A mother's exposure to a flame retardant before, during and after pregnancy interacted with a known genetic mutation to impair learning and memory and decrease social behaviors in her offspring, a study with mice has found. Female mice were more sensitive to the exposure, which altered the on/off switches in the epigenetic code. This is the first study to link genetic, epigenetic and behavioral changes to a flame retardant chemical in females with a high genetic risk for autism spectrum disorders. The study is important because it focused on a specific gene mutation linked to Rett's syndrome -- a condition on the autism spectrum that primarily affects females. The results suggest that genetic risk for social deficits can interact with an environmental chemical to tip the balance toward exacerbated autistic behaviors. An individual with genetic risks for other health-related problems or diseases may also be more sensitive to these environmental chemicals than the overall general population. During the past 25 years, brominated flame retardants -- including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) -- have been used in home furnishings and electronics to slow their burning during a fire. PBDEs are routinely detected in household dust, food and air.
[Read more stories about: flame retardants, health impacts]
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'Doc Michael says:
Mice... have mothers?

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