Study: Autism and Intellectual Disability Linked to Environment

New medical research suggests that autism and other intellectual disabilities may be caused by environmental factors. While it does not necessarily shed light on treatment possibilities, it could give rise to research in prevention. According to the report, an analysis of 100 million U.S. medical records indicates that autism and other intellectual disability rates can be linked to an incidence of genital malformations in newborn males. This relationship between genital malformations and intellectual disability indicates that both groups may have suffered exposure to harmful environmental agents, including pesticides.

Intellectual deficiencies and mental disabilities can be even more debilitating for workers than a physical injury. For individuals who suffer from autism or another intellectual disability, benefits may be available through the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI). Our SSDI lawyers in Massachusetts are dedicated to helping individuals and their loved ones collect the benefits they need. We know that the process can be daunting, but will take the time to review your case, your documentation, and help you fight for the benefits your family needs and deserves.

According to research published by researchers at The University of Chicago, autism rates are on the rise and have spiked exponentially in certain counties throughout the United States. Once adjusting for gender, ethnicity, and other geopolitical factors, the new studies show that intellectual disability jumps by 283% for every one percent of increase in genital malformations in certain counties. The increase of autism and intellectual disability were more common in wealthier and urban communities, a tie which has been linked to the use of pesticides in these areas.

The research, published in the March 13 issue of PLOS Computational Biology, reveals that there is a higher incidence of autism and intellectual disability in states where there are also higher rates of genital malformations in newborn males. Authors of the study believe this is a clear indication that the disorders are tied to environmental factors. The researchers admit that there are genetic components to intellectual disabilities, environment seems to play a strong role. The team used evidence of genetic malformations as an indicator of maternal or paternal exposure to toxins.

Male children with autism were also found to be six times more likely to also have congenital genital malformations. The study also linked the malformations with higher rates of viral infections. Future studies could help to lobby the Environmental Protection Agency to identify certain risks and exposure to pesticides that could be the cause of autism and other intellectual disabilities. Research could help point to source of toxic exposure to help reduce the rates of autism and other mental disabilities.

Advancements in science and medical research can help to prevent and treat autism. Families will often need additional financial support available through the Social Security Disability Insurance program. The system can be complicated and claims are often denied. If you are seeking SSDI benefits for yourself or a loved one, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate who can review your case and help to effectively file a claim.

If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

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