June 2018: Zinc and Copper Metabolic Cycles in Baby Teeth Linked to Autism

Using evidence found in baby teeth, researchers from the Institute for Exposomic Research and the Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures at the Icahn School of Medicine found that Zinc and copper metabolic cycles in baby teeth are linked to autism. The researchers used the teeth to reconstruct prenatal and early-life exposures to nutrient and toxic elements in healthy and autistic children. Results of the study were published online in Science Advances, a journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This is the first study in the world to generate a 90 percent accurate fetal and early childhood biomarker of ASD using a longitudinal analysis of distinct metabolic pathways, and to replicate it in 4 independent study populations. The results of this research could produce a new diagnostic approach for ASD early in life before the disorder presents and catalyze new treatments and prevention strategies.

To read more about this study, read our Department of Environmental Medicine blog.