People With Autism Share Common Pattern Of Brain Inflammation

While science has yet to pinpoint the exact cause of autism, a new study reveals that the brains of people with the disorder share a common pattern of inflammation from an overactive immune response.

Johns Hopkins and University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers analyzed data from autopsied brains of 72 people, 32 of whom had autism. In the brains of people with autism, they found genes for inflammation permanently activated in certain cells. The study, published in the online journal Nature Communications on Dec. 10, is the largest so far of gene expression in autism.

“There are many different ways of getting autism, but we found that they all have the same downstream effect,” Dan Arking, Ph.D., an associate professor in the McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said in a statement. “What we don’t know is whether this immune response is making things better in the short term and worse in the long term.”

Inflammation is not likely a root cause of autism, but a consequence of a gene mutation, Arking stressed. To better understand inflammation’s effects, researchers will want to find out whether treating it makes —> Read More Here


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