Researcher studies possible link between BPA exposure and autism

5 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago Monday, July 02 2018 Jul 2, 2018 Monday, July 02, 2018 3:00:00 PM CDT July 02, 2018 in News
By: Johannah Grenaway, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A new study shows a correlation between signs of autism in the offspring of mice and exposure to a chemical commonly found in plastics, cardboard and aluminum cans.

Cheryl Rosenfeld, an investigator at the Bond Life Science Research Center, said the chemical, bisphenol-a can act like the natural hormones in humans. The problem is, human bodies cannot regulate BPA.

"When we're hit with these environmental chemicals that act like our natural chemicals, they'll bind to our receptors and basically cause indiscriminate and what we call widespread effects," Rosenfeld said.

She said her animal research can show correlations but cannot show causation.

In the lab, the mice pups exposed to BPA through their mothers or grandmothers showed similar behaviors to that in children with autism, particularly crying behaviors. 

"The frequencies tend to be higher in children with autism and, in many ways, what we found in our California mice pups that were not developmentally, but what we call multi-generationally exposed, the grand offspring, they had similar responses," Rosenfeld said.

Stehpen Kanne, a pediatric neuropsychologist who is on the research grant with Rosenfeld, said the vocalization patterns are just one of many behaviors the mice pups and children with autism have in common.

"Certain mice do OCD behaviors. They'll run into circles all the time and our kids with autism show many OCD behaviors."

Kanne said another common trait is social isolation.

"They won't interact with the mates in their cages as much. Well, that's one of the defining characteristics of autism right there are kids are less social," he said.

Kanne said he's not sure if there's a connection in the behaviors.

"But you have these behavioral correlates that give you hints enough to say it's worth testing in humans if it bears out in this species," he said.

Researchers have been trying to find the underlying cause for the autism for the last 20 years, but it's very tricky, Kanne said.  

"We know that it's a genetic disorder so we know that the genes are somehow involved, but like any genetic disorder we know there are often is some impact of the environment," he said.

Rosenfeld said her study has shown adult mice who are exposed to BPA can usually metabolize the chemical and it's doesn't have a big impact. /p>

However, when a pregnant mouse is exposed, the developing offspring is much more vulnerable. Once those mice pups are grown, their own pups show effects to the initial BPA exposure in the grandparents.

"In humans it's very difficult to establish causation, but there are enough correlations so what they usually can do is they'll look at the BPA concentration in the pregnant woman's urine and then they'll  look to see 'how does that affect the odds ratio of the child having autism,'" Rosenfeld said.

Kanne the study on mice provides hints, if not actual evidence.

He said, "Well, if we can find it there, maybe even prove it there or change it there, what could we do on the human side?" 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - People gathered at Hickman High School on Saturday to celebrate holidays from several cultures. KOPN Community Radio... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College had a special moment during the graduation ceremony Saturday to honor a student who died in... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Diocese confirmed Saturday three people were added to its list of clergy accused of... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A 19-year-old woman was shot Saturday afternoon near Aspen Heights Parkway, police said. At around 2:40 p.m.,... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 4:40:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Capitol has recently completed an effort to restore and conserve the building's... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:41:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in Sports
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , who's facing federal investigations into his travel, political... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:53:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
3am 31°
4am 31°
5am 31°
6am 31°