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Your Environment. Your Health.
Alan Brown, M.D., M.P.H.
Alan Brown, M.D., M.P.H. is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist at Columbia University who specializes in the epidemiology of neurodevelopmental risk factors for autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A key focus of his work is on biomarker-based in utero and early childhood exposures that are prospectively documented in large population-based birth cohorts. These include a Finnish national birth cohort of 1.5 million pregnancies, from which he developed the Finnish Prenatal Study of Autism (FiPS-A), which has yielded novel findings. They were the first to demonstrate that elevated maternal levels of the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP) during pregnancy was associated with autism in offspring. They've also demonstrated associations between autism and maternal persistent organic pollutants, smoking, several perinatal events, and elevated growth velocity of head circumference during infancy. In present and future work, he is examining relationships between other toxic and infectious/immune maternal biomarkers, quantified in maternal sera during pregnancy, and autism. They've also assessed the specificity of these risk factors by investigating their relationship to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and their neuroanatomic and neuropsychological correlates.