Rise in prevalence of autism in children continues to baffle researchers

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 17 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1027
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. London

    Despite three recent studies showing that the number of diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders has almost doubled in the last seven years to around 1% of children, researchers say that it is still impossible to say whether the rise is due to a genuine increase in the number of new cases or to other factors.

    At an Open University conference on autism research in Milton Keynes, Tony Charman, professor of neurodevelopmental disorders at the Institute of Child Health in London, cited his research describing the rise (Lancet 2006;368:210-5).

    In the study Professor Charman and colleagues from Japan, …

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