Common variants in three genes involved in the immune system are more likely to crop up in people with autism than in typical controls, according to a study published 9 June in Molecular Autism.
Pregnant rats exposed to a virus give birth to offspring with significantly altered levels of three proteins important for brain development, according to a study published 9 June in Molecular Brain.
Offspring born to pregnant rats with an activated immune system emit more distress calls when they receive electrical shocks than do controls, according to a study published 9 June in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
An untreated fever during pregnancy more than doubles the risk that the child will develop autism, according to a study published 5 May in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Two new postmortem studies show that microglia, which protect the brain from invaders, are denser and more concentrated around neurons in the brains of individuals with autism than in those of controls.
Immune cells called microglia may play a central role in trimming synapses, the connections between neurons, according to research published 24 May in Neuron. These modifications are part of a normal developmental process by which excess synapses in the brain are destroyed.
Health records of more than 14,000 people with autism show that they are more likely than the general population to suffer from a number of conditions, including immune disorders and gut problems. The results, published 12 April in PLoS One, suggest that doctors should carefully monitor their overall health.
A biological signature in the blood could be used to aid the early diagnosis of schizophrenia, according to a study published 12 April in Molecular Psychiatry. The results suggest that various circulating immune molecules and metabolites reflect the biological changes that underlie neurological disorders.
Individuals with autism may belong to one of four groups with discrete sets of symptoms, the most distinct of which includes immune system abnormalities accompanied by sleep problems and sensory sensitivity. The results were published in the April issue of Autism Research.