The seventh annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) was held last May 15 – 17 in London. Autism Speaks has provided brief summaries of some of the IMFAR presentations in the areas of autism etiology, biology, diagnosis and treatment.
2008 IMFAR Shows Progress in All Areas of Autism Research
The seventh annual International Meeting for Autism Research recently concluded in London with more than 1150 researchers from around the world attending and making more than 850 presentations. Among the countries represented were Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The following are brief summaries of some of the IMFAR presentations in the areas of autism etiology, biology, diagnosis and treatment. The record number of attendees and the depth and breadth of the science presented signals that autism research is truly becoming global, with advances being made across the board. But most importantly, the science presented and discussed will help individuals and families who are living with autism by uncovering more effective means to diagnose, treat and determine the causes of autism.
Several presentations focused on the role of the environment as a risk factor for autism. Genetic risk factors may be acted upon by additional environmental factors to ultimately cause autism. This year IMFAR hosted an educational symposium concerning links between the environment and autism. These presentations, led by Craig Newschaffer, Ph.D., were intended to educate the community on ongoing research and current thinking in environmental health science, genetics and epidemiology that is relevant to the investigation of environmental risk factors in autism. This symposium also served to complement other presentations on environmental exposures that are being examined for links to autism, which include such factors as method of birth induction, ultrasound frequency, as well as chemical exposures found in the home.
Source: Autism Speaks