Researchers have successfully identified autism risk in young mice by examining their mother's microbiome during pregnancy. The study, which may offer the earliest detection of autism, could pave the way to developing preventative measures against forms of autism by altering the maternal diet and probiotic intake.
MIT researchers report mothers who contract severe infections during pregnancy face higher autism risks in their children. However, ASD risks could be reduced by blocking the function of certain strains of bacteria found in the mother's gut.
Researchers have identified a subset of immune signaling proteins associated with the development of autism in mice.
Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus affects the brain, in addition to the lungs. Researchers are examining the threat COVID-19 posses to long term brain health. They speculate maternal inflammation could lead to an increased risk of autism-like behaviors and neurodevelopment deficits in children born to mothers diagnosed with coronavirus. Other studies are exploring how the virus may spread in the nervous system via synaptic transmission.
Chronic increases of the cytokine IL-17a circulating in the blood of mice reduced microglia activity in one region of the hippocampus, an area of the brain critical for memory and learning.
Immune molecules produced during infection influence the social behaviors of mouse models of autism spectrum disorder. The findings may shed light on why some children on the autism spectrum experience a temporary reduction in behavioral symptoms when they have a fever.
Specific combinations of microorganisms in the gut can worsen symptoms of multiple sclerosis in mouse models of the autoimmune disease.