Autism Information

Friday, March 14, 2008

Scientists may be one step closer in unraveling the underlying causes of autism with recent studies indicating a link between autism and the mother’s immune system. According to an article in, a research led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center suggests that mothers of autistic children may have produced antibodies that crossed the placenta and reacted against the fetus’ brain proteins during pregnancy, causing changes that led to autism. The research was prompted by past evidence of unusual antibody levels in some autistic children, despite the absence of autoimmune diseases, which initiated researchers to hypothesize that the irregularities may be due to maternal antibodies, and not the child’s.

Researchers involved in the study, however, warn that the findings shouldn’t be a cause of alarm. While initial results suggest that maternal antibodies may cause or trigger autism among already predisposed children, its presence during pregnancy does not necessarily mean that the child will be autistic. Nonetheless, the study reveals valuable insights into the complex nature of the disorder and the role that maternal contributions play in early brain development.


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