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New Hints Into the Biological Basis of Autism

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Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 34-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5540.34

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Pushed by parent advocates, scientists are unearthing intriguing clues about what causes autism. The evidence seems to point to problems with brain development before birth and through early childhood. Although genetic factors clearly play a major role, a number of other causes and potential cofactors have been postulated, including vaccines, exposure to toxins, infection, and immunologic and metabolic problems. Whatever the causes, a cure for autism remains a faraway prospect, however.