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tional light on the mechanisms that produce autism. Cross-national studies were also mentioned because autism rates seem to be similar across countries that have differing immunization levels and practices. To gain a better understanding of the basic neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of the autistic brain, systematic and more frequent postmortem examinations should be encouraged. In addition, new technologies, such as noninvasive imaging, have the potential to provide better information on brain function and structure.

Research studies might also explore whether identifiable features of genetics, immune function, or other factors predispose some children to an adverse vaccine reaction and whether the brain can be protected in such children. For example, animal models point to changes in brain vulnerability as neonates age, so the effect of changes in the timing of immunization might be studied. It was noted that although the idea of finding markers for genetic susceptibility is appealing, such tools might be hard to use because of the cost of screening all children.



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