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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Environmental exposures measured in deciduous teeth as potential biomarkers for autism risk

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Palmer, Raymond

Description

Description

Environmental factors, combined with genetic susceptibility, rather than genetics alone, are now considered key in understanding the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The lack of methods to determine environmental exposures during critical periods of development has been the bane of ASD studies investigating gene/environment interactions. The investigators have previously established that semi-volatile organic chemicals, including pesticides, analgesics, and phthalates, and/or their metabolites, are stored in exfoliated deciduous teeth at measurable levels in typically-developing children. This novel technique allows detection and quantification of exposures, and provides a timeline for exposure based on when teeth were formed. The project uses a case-control approach to examine exposures. Families are recruited through an established network of community partners and online autism organizations. The hypothesis is that compounds stored in deciduous teeth can be evaluated as biomarkers for prenatal and perinatal exposures in autism case-control studies. Replication of recent identification of these biomarkers in teeth (as proposed in aim 1) will be, in itself, an extremely valuable contribution to exposure science. The specific aims are to: 1) identify semi-volatile organic compounds present in exfoliated deciduous teeth that can be evaluated as biomarkers for exposures; and 2) assess whether these stored chemicals in teeth are differentially distributed between ASD and typically developed children. Even if it is not true that cases are differentially exposed, it may be that specific genetic susceptibilities to the exposures identified could explain ASD risk. The data collected in this study is essential for future studies exploring the role of genetic susceptibility. Ultimately, this research may provide evidence and guidance for avoiding certain pre- and post-natal exposures to decrease the risk for autism or offer therapeutic targets. This Trailblazer study is expected to be the precursor to a series of investigations which will focus on specific individual genetic susceptibilities to the compounds identified in deciduous teeth in determining the risk for ASD.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2013

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SB. Within the highest priority categories of exposures for ASD, identify and standardize at least three measures for identifying markers of environmental exposure in biospecimens by 2011. IACC Recommended Budget: $3,500,000 over 3 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Environmental exposures measured in deciduous teeth as potential biomarkers for autism risk (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

State/Country

State/Country

Texas

Project Number

Project Number

8426

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Environmental exposures measured in deciduous teeth as potential biomarkers for autism risk | 100000 | 2012 | 8426

 
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