Autism, Brain, and Environment

By Richard Lathe | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Environmental Factors, Heavy
Metals, and Brain Function

All disorders have a cause. This can be purely genetic, a good example being the collapse of red blood cells due to abnormal hemoglobin in sickle cell anemia. The problem here is a mutant gene that causes production of anomalous proteins which in turn alter the shape of the red blood cells, impairing their function. Disorders can also be purely environmental – for instance, the drug thalidomide used by pregnant women to prevent morning sickness had the disastrous effect of producing severe physical deformities in the child. But, although both examples seem straightforward, they only tell part of the story.

One would expect that a gene causing faulty red blood cells would be quite rare since the sickle-shaped red blood cells do not carry oxygen and can cause blockage of small arteries. People with this gene mutation would be less healthy, leading to removal of the gene from the population. However, this mutation seems to be beneficial in malaria-infested areas – the parasite that causes malaria cannot reproduce in the altered red blood cells. People with the sickle-cell trait are protected and survive, and so carry the mutant gene into the next generation – a good example of the interaction of a genetic disorder and environmental factors.

Conversely, in the thalidomide tragedy many children of mothers taking thalidomide during the critical period showed no abnormalities. Although not well studied, one must presume that some mothers with favorable genes could degrade and detoxify the thalidomide molecule, preventing it from harming their children. And some children may not have been susceptible. Even a disorder like this, which appears to be entirely environmental, can be strongly dependent on genetic factors.

-87-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Autism, Brain, and Environment
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 288

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.