Archived | Autism Speaks: Environmental Factors in Autism Initiative | Circa 2008 #NotAnAutisticAlly

2008 Environmental Factors Awards
2008 Basic and Clinical Awards (Winter)
2008 Basic and Clinical Awards (Summer)
2008 Epidemiology Awards
2008 Fellowships
2008 High Risk, High Impact Projects
2008 Pilot Awards (Winter)
2008 Pilot Awards (Summer)
2008 Treatment Awards


Environmental Factors Initiative 


Although we know that genetics is an important factor, genetics alone may not account for all cases of autism. The increase in the reported number of autism cases has generated extreme concern over the potential involvement of toxins as well as infectious agents in our environment. 

The role of environmental factors in the development of autism is a crucial area of study. Although we know that genetics is an important factor, genetics alone may not account for all cases of autism. The increase in the reported number of autism cases has generated extreme concern over the potential involvement of toxins as well as infectious agents in our environment. For example, prenatal exposure to the chemicals thalidomide and valproic acid has been linked to a greater risk of a child being born with autism. This initiative targets research that seeks to understand and identify the potential role environmental factors play in triggering autism.

Through its many granting programs, Autism Speaks has and continues to stimulate research into environmental interactions in autism. 


September 2008
 – In March, a special Request for Applications targeting projects studying the role of environmental influences in autism with a focus on gene x environment interactions was released. In response to the 60 applications received, Autism Speaks has announced more than $3.6 million in grant awards over the next three years for 12 new studies focusing on environmental factors in autism.




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