Impaired Sulfate Metabolism and Epigenetics: Is There a Link in Autism?
Author(s)Hartzell, Samantha R.; Seneff, Stephanie
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Autism is a brain disorder involving social, memory, and learning deficits, that normally develops prenatally or early in childhood. Frustratingly, many research dollars have as yet failed to identify the cause of autism. While twin concordance studies indicate a strong genetic component, the alarming rise in the incidence of autism in the last three decades suggests that environmental factors play a key role as well. This dichotomy can be easily explained if we invoke a heritable epigenetic effect as the primary factor. Researchers are just beginning to realize the huge significance of epigenetic effects taking place during gestation in influencing the phenotypical expression. Here, we propose the novel hypothesis that sulfates deficiency in both the mother and the child, brought on mainly by excess exposure to environmental toxins and inadequate sunlight exposure to the skin, leads to widespread hypomethylation in the fetal brain with devastating consequences. We show that many seemingly disparate observations regarding serum markers, neuronal pathologies, and nutritional deficiencies associated with autism can be integrated to support our hypothesis.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. School of Engineering
Hartzell, Samantha, and Stephanie Seneff. “Impaired Sulfate Metabolism and Epigenetics: Is There a Link in Autism?” Entropy 14.12 (2012): 1953–1977.
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