Understanding the interactions between the placenta and the uterine lining could explain how maternal immune activation leads to autism.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
In mice exposed to maternal inflammation in the womb, a key chemical messenger never makes the switch from exciting brain signals to inhibiting them.
Rats exposed prenatally to a cocktail of ‘autoimmune’ molecules have altered levels of two types of compounds needed for brain development.
A pregnant mouse’s response to infection alters the immune cells in her pups’ brains, and this may contribute to their autism-like behaviors.
A specially made ‘decoy’ protein prevents an immune molecule from crossing the placenta; the strategy may prevent the brain changes that lead to autism.
Nearly half of American children with autism aged 10 to 17 are overweight or obese.