NEJM Article Makes Hypothesis That Autism Starts in the Womb

epigenetics2The NEJM article “Patches of Disorganization in the Neocortex of Children with Autism” finds 10 of 11 autistic children’s brains at autopsy had focal patches of abnormal laminar cytoarchitecture and cortical disorganization of neurons, but not glia, in prefrontal and temporal tissue.  This finding was present in only 1 of 11 unaffected children. They conclude that this probably represents prenatal (before birth) changes. 

There seems to be an attempt to show that autism starts in the womb and that it is genetic.  Why this focus in so many articles?  The general public reads genetic or starts in the womb and thinks “there’s nothing I could have done … it’s not my fault … it’s predetermined”.  I don’t want anyone to feel guilty that they have an autistic child- NO!  My own children are neurologically challenged, that is to say, I am convinced they have not achieved as healthy a neurological development as I had.  WHY?  I was ignorant of the toxins that I allowed into their bodies, and we live in a more toxic world.  The explosion of autism and other brain/psychological disorders, is triggered by toxins.  Neurons are very vulnerable to toxins. But the studies say it’s genetic?  This study (you can read it here… ) points to the genetics and it starting in the womb, so it must be genetic right?

Yes it is genetic, but EPIGENETIC, meaning it is how our bodies respond to the environment, meaning toxins.  We know the toxic exposure starts in the womb, as the uterus shunts nutrients AND toxins to the developing brain.  I applaud research that helps us identify those genetic traits and SNP’s (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) that are associated with various diseases and disorders.  I would hope that the researchers would take it to the next step and identify which toxins or nutrient deficiencies harm and protect individuals with those traits and SNP’s.

The key to health is avoiding toxins and getting your nutrients.   It is not found in the pill from your local pharmacy prescribed by your favorite MD.

Start paying more attention to what you put in your body, eating whole, real food that is free of pesticides and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), and drink filtered water.  Get your nutrients tested and take key supplements to address nutritional deficiencies.

Testing for adults is available at and for children at



Dr. Paul

Reply To This Post