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Autism, Brain, and Environment

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Book - Autism, Brain, and Environment

by: Richard Lathe

About the author:

Richard Lathe is director of Pieta Research, a biotechnology consultancy based in Edinburgh. With extensive experience of academic and industrial research, his most recent area of interest has been in brain research and neuroscience, focusing on the limbic system, autism and Alzheimer's. He has previously held Professorships at the Universities of Strasbourg and Edinburgh. He is the author of over one hundred peer-reviewed journal articles.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-438-4

Year: 2006

Publication Info: 288pp


The increasing number of people being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) cannot simply be explained by changes in diagnostic criteria or greater awareness of the condition. In this controversial new book, Richard Lathe contends that the recent rise in cases of ASDs is a result of increased exposure to environmental toxicity combined with genetic predisposition.

Autism, Brain, and Environment proposes that autism is a disorder of the limbic brain, which is damaged by toxic heavy metals present in the environment. Lathe argues that most ASD children have additional physiological problems and that these, far from being separate from the psychiatric aspects of ASD, can produce and exacerbate the condition.

This important and groundbreaking text provides a closely-argued scientific case for the involvement of both environmental and physiological factors in autism. Lathe’s argument will also have a direct impact on treatment strategies and options. It will be of great interest to the scientific community, professionals, researchers, political and environmental lobbyists, teachers, psychologists, and parents and people with ASDs.



1. Introduction. 2. Autism and autism spectrum disorders: the problem of recognition and diagnosis. 3. Genetic contribution to autistic spectrum disorders: diversity and insufficiency. 4. New phase autism: rising prevalence. 5. Brain abnormalities: focus on the limbic brain. 6. Limbic dysfunction correlates with the autistic phenotype. 7. Environmental factors, heavy metals, and brain function. 8. Gut, hormones, immunity: physiological dysregulation in autism. 9. Body and mind: impact of physiological changes on brain and behaviour in ASD. 10. Biomedical Therapy: typing and correction. 11. The Environmental threat: From autism and ADHD to Alzheimer’s. Index.



The author covers the problems of recognition and diagnosis, genetic contributions, brain abnormalities, limbic dysfunction, physiological dysregulation, body and mind, biomedical therapy, and links with other disorders, as part of a detailed positioning of this arguments… The argument is concisely presented, extensively referenced and made easy to follow to its conclusion… Overall this is an important book, well argued and referenced. It should be read by all concerned with ASD.


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