ISGlobal | Barcelona Institute for GlobalHealth


Initiatives: Urban Planning, Environment and Health

Research Programmes: Childhood & Environment

  • Duration:
  • Coordinator:
    Mònica Guxens (ISGlobal)
  • Funded by:
    Health Effects Institute (HEI)

Air Pollution, Autism spectrum disorders, and brain imaging in CHildren amongst Europe

The objective of the APACHE study is to evaluate whether prenatal air pollution exposure is associated with the development of autism spectrum disorders and whether prenatal and postnatal air pollution exposure is associated with changes in brain structure and function in children. In both cases, the study will also evaluate different windows of exposure to establish when mothers and children are most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.

One of the hypotheses to be evaluated in this study is that exposure to air pollution during pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders, but not with an increased risk of autistic traits (subclinical deficits that do not meet the formal criteria for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder). This hypothesis is based on the findings of previous studies.