Exposure to infections and certain medicines during pregnancy may be linked to autism
Not everyone with those genetic mutations has autism — and that’s because researchers believe it’s not mutations alone that cause the disorder.
In many cases, you need that underlying genetic predisposition or mutation to collide with a range of potential environmental triggers. And finding those environmental risk factors is where things get murky pretty quickly.
Researchers have proposed dozens of potential environmental contributors to autism — including air pollution, pesticides, antidepressants, and viruses. And few of them have very robust science behind them, in large part because it’s much trickier to confirm the environmental causes of a disease.