The Tooth fairy project, a study that collects children’s milk teeth to research the effects of natural radiation, is appealing for teeth from families of Autistic children in Texas, to determine any possible causes of Autism.
The study, conducted over the past two years by Dr. Raymond Palmer, epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in the department of family and community medicine, is hoping to see factors in the children’s milk teeth that can lead towards successful indicators for Autism that can be used by the Worldwide medical community.
A collection Centre has been set up in Harlingen, Texas for the collection of teeth.
Beatriz Tapia, field investigator for the study said when speaking to the Brownsville Herald: “The Tooth Fairy study specifically is recruiting Hispanic children because it is not being researched at the national level, So the opportunity here is to find out if we have similar needs to the national average or, because of our location, do we have greater needs.”
The area of study in Texas is of particular interest because of the wide spread use of Pesticides for treating acres of crops in Texas’ corn belt. The study was partly set up to see if the use of these pesticides in the surrounding area was having an effect on the development of the local children.
They are working alongside a specialist Autism Clinic in the Rio Grande Valley, Dr Stephanie Jackson from the clinic said: “It was very easy for them to get the control teeth from what we would consider the baseline normal child versus a child who has been diagnosed with autism. And so being the site where we do render dental care to autistic kiddies they approached us and said, ‘Hey, can you help us out collecting these teeth?’ so they could do these studies.”
Autism Speaks, the world wide Autism charity has provided the majority of the funding for the study, because so little is known about the number of Autistic children in the Hispanic Society in Texas, or indeed worldwide.
Autism Daily Newscast looks forward to see the published results of the research which should be available in 2014.