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Drug residues in drinking water can trigger autism
Residues of psychotropic drugs in drinking water can trigger autism. At least that's what researchers at Idaho State University School found out from an experiment with animals. The scientists are now asking to what extent the results can also be transferred to humans. In addition, there is currently no precise information on the concentrations of drug residues in drinking water.
In the experimental setup, the researchers contaminated the water in an aquarium with minimal additions of medication residues. For this they used medicines for depression and epilepsy. Fat minnows were used in the study because their genes are similar to autism-prone people. They then discovered that the genes for autism that are typical in the brain changed as a result of the drug supply. For scientists, the question now is whether the results can also be transferred to humans. Some other studies indicate that drug residues can actually be found in drinking water. “Exposed people could thus be at higher risk of autism,” the scientists sum up.
However, the proportion of drug residues is much lower than the concentrations used during the study. The research results therefore indicate a potential risk that further studies must be carried out. In this context, experts point out that old medicines should be disposed of properly. These could be given to the pharmacy, for example. (sb)