Dr. Volk's study on environmental autism suggests children exposed to air pollution from traffic and other sources while in the womb and during their first year may be at an increased risk for autism. Infants exposed to the highest levels of air pollution were three times more likely to develop autism than those exposed to the lowest levels, researchers found.
"There is evidence that the immune system might be associated with autism, and pollution affects these same pathways," said lead researcher Heather Volk, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. Read more.
Individual Award (Volk), 07/01/11-06/31/2012
James H. Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund
A Birth Records Based Analysis of Autism in Anaheim
Specific Aims of Project: This project will using birth certificate and state service records to build the infrastructure needed for a case-control study nested in a birth cohort of children in Southern California and to examine preliminary associations between air pollution and autism in Anaheim, California.
Individual Award (Volk)
Autism Speaks, 02/01/12-01/31/2013
Perinatal Exposure to Airborne Pollutants and Autism Phenotype
Aims of Project: This proposal seeks to expand and integrate previous research on air pollutants to understand the effect of these environmental contaminants on autism, building on data from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange.
R21 - RFA-ES-11-002 (Schmidt), 07/01/12-06/31/2015
NIH/NIEHS - University of California, Davis
Interactions between Antioxidant Nutrients and Environmental Risk Factors for Autism Specific Aims of Project: This project examines the potential modifying effects of nutritional factors (e.g.: prenatal vitamin use) on environmental risk factors, including air pollution and organophosphate pesticide exposure, for autism and to assess the role of epigenetic changes in this relationship.
Individual Award (Croen)
Autism Speaks – Kaiser Permanente Northern California, 02/01/13-01/31/2015
Air Pollution, MET Genotype, and ASD Risk: GxE Interaction in the EMA Study
Specific Aims of Project: This proposal seeks to examine the interaction of the MET gene with air pollution exposure in the Early Markers of Autism (EMA) study.
USC: Rob McConnell, Frank Gilliland, Dan Campbell
UC Davis: Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Rebecca Schmidt
Drexel University: Nora Lee
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee: Amy Kalkbrenner
California Department of Public Health: Gayle Windham
Kaiser Permanante of Northern California: Lisa Croen