Researchers at Idaho State University used fish to discover a possible environmental trigger for autism. They exposed fish to commonly prescribed drugs at levels typically found in tap water. After a while, those fish showed changes in a genetic process that mimics patterns found in some people with autism.
Michael Thomas, Associate Professor of Biology at ISU, led the research team. He says, "What you’re drinking is a cocktail that represents the net drug dosages of the community upstream from you."
Thomas believes their research is the first of many steps to find out whether drugs in tap water could be linked to autism. They plan to conduct follow up experiments on fish, human cells, and mice.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio.