Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Clinic Notes: Plastics, Testosterone, and Autism

A recent study has found that the chemical BPA, found in plastics, including some baby bottles, and cash register receipts raises testosterone levels in men. This is interesting because Simon Baron Cohen of Cambridge University found that high testosterone levels in the amniotic fluid of the womb was related to later autistic behaviors in children. Furthermore, autism is 4-5 times more common in males than females suggesting that high levels of testosterone over masculinities the male brain. Of course, our exposure to plastics has increased over the last several decades so this could be an important etiological variable in the increased number of children with autism.

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