Environmental Toxicity, Genetic Predisposition and Autism

The increasing number of people being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) cannot simply be explained by changes in diagnostic criteria or greater awareness of the condition. In this controversial new book, Richard Lathe contends that the recent rise in cases of ASDs is a result of increased exposure to environmental toxicity combined with genetic predisposition.

Autism, Brain, and Environment proposes that autism is a disorder of the limbic brain, which is damaged by toxic heavy metals present in the environment. Lathe argues that most ASD children have additional physiological problems and that these, far from being separate from the psychiatric aspects of ASD, can produce and exacerbate the condition.

This important and groundbreaking text provides a closely argued scientific case for the involvement of both environmental and physiological factors in autism. Lathe’s argument will also have a direct impact on treatment strategies and options. It will be of great interest to the scientific community, professionals, researchers, political and environmental lobbyists, teachers, psychologists, and parents and people with ASDs.

Reviews of the book:
‘Richard Lathe has written a remarkable synthesis of the biomedical evidence relevant to understanding the causes of autism spectrum conditions. As an excellent scientist, he is concerned with achieving an objectivity in his review of a very large number of studies. He draws on evidence from the diverse fields of genetics, endocrinology, immunology, toxicology, virology, and neuroscience, to name just a few.

There are few individuals with his grasp of the basic science who could have pulled off such a masterly review. He balances his theory of environmental (heavy metal toxicity) factors with a recognition of genetic susceptibility factors. His book will be of great value to researchers, as well as to parents or people with an autism spectrum condition, who are interested in a serious summary of the science of autism.’ – Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge University and Director of the Autism Research Centre, Cambridge

‘This book should be required reading for any practitioner who is involved in treating children with autism spectrum disorders. It is exceptionally well written, logically organized and covers the topic from several interesting angles. If you knew nothing about autism spectrum disorders before you opened this book you would still be able to read it and understand the facts, hypotheses and concerns that are paramount in the recent concern about the cause, effects and possible treatments for these illnesses.

The author does an excellent job presenting the basic research observations from many areas and relevant clinical studies. He also ties these together in an impressive manner. The presentation of the limbic brain structure and dysfunction are very well done, as are the biochemical and physiological explanations. The book is informative, interesting, presents new ideas and is an excellent read.’ – Boyd Haley, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky

Autism, Brain, and Environment
Richard Lathe
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
116 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB, UK
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
Hardback, 288 pages
ISBN 1 84310 438 5

One Response to “Environmental Toxicity, Genetic Predisposition and Autism”
  1. Eric says:

    Thanks for this. I am always trying to increase my understanding of autism and the causes of it. I firmly subscribe to the belief that toxic overload ia a major contributory factor. I also believe that microwaves and vaccination, not to mention terrible food additives are also big factors.

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