June 16,

Dr. Gary Steinman, MD, PH.D

The cause of Autism:  Concepts and misconceptions


8:15 pm


25 NIS

At the OU Israel Center.

2 Keren Hayesod, Yerushalayim

Editor-in-chief Gary Steinman, MD, PhD


This book represents a comprehensive endeavor to examine the multiple hypotheses that

have been proposed to explain the cause of autism. Some confusion has arisen in defining

exactly what are the specific criteria to be applied in diagnosing this disorder, to distinguish it

from other neuropathologic conditions. In recent years, the issue of autism has reached major

levels of concern and attention among scientific and general audiences. The authors have

striven to make this book suitable for both the professional and the lay reader.

Although much research effort and substantial funding amounts have been devoted to

uncovering the cause of autism, little is currently known with certainty. Much like other unsolved

medical mysteries, autism is believed to result from an environmental trigger interacting with a

genetic propensity. As a result of the public alarm that has justifiably developed, numerous

hypotheses have been generated without sufficient research evidence to identify the main

pathologic process(es) causing autism. No one explanation has sufficient supporting data to

claim a clear, comprehensive cause-and-effect relationship. Unfortunately, quite a few of these

unverified proposals have persisted for various reasons.

Some of these proposals, such as a purported link with vaccination, are still believed to be

valid by the general public, in spite of numerous studies negating or refuting them. A major

source of this confusion has resulted from the tendency of the popular press to overemphasize

the meaning of “breakthrough” scientific discoveries, many of which are repetitions of previously

discarded or discredited claims. The public is often uncertain and ill-informed about what issues

are well-founded and deserve additional attention and credible support. Hence, the primary goal

of this book is to separate fact from fiction for ultimately elucidating the true etiology(ies) of

autism. In this process, unsubstantiated therapies will be questioned.