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Caltec Researchers Find Evidence of Link Between Immune Irregularities and Autism

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Press release: http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13534

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
[t]he researchers characterized the immune system of the offspring of mothers that had been infected [the researchers injected pregnant mothers with a viral mimic that triggered the same type of immune response a viral infection would] and found that the offspring display a number of immune changes. Some of those changes parallel those seen in people with autism, including decreased levels of regulatory T cells, which play a key role in suppressing the immune response. Taken together, the observed immune alterations add up to an immune system in overdrive—one that promotes inflammation.

 

post #2 of 4

Thanks for the link!  

post #3 of 4

That's interesting. Reading it, it sounded like they're suggesting any immune response in the mother (ie. from an immunization, or actually catching the virus) would have the same result. So the milder reaction from an immunization might be better than getting the full on virus, and if the mothers were immunized pre-pregnancy they'd be less likely to catch a viral infection during the first trimester.

 

Also it's in mice, and as they say: 

 

 

 

Quote:
The researchers emphasize that because the work was conducted in mice, the results cannot be readily extrapolated to humans

 

I hope they keep studying this - and wouldn't it be fantastic if (like they seemed to do in the mice) they could find a way to help the immune system back to normal and cure some cases of autism like disorders. 

 

 Does seem indicative to not get flu shots during the first trimester of pregnancy - can anyone remember what's the current advice on that. I think I got mine in second trimester both times, but can't remember why (no autism spectrum in either child). 

post #4 of 4

The current recommendation in the US is to get a flu shot in pregnancy. At any time it seems as they tried to get me one at 8 weeks, no thank you. TdaP after 20 weeks. I can't find the link that I used to have to a study or paper that was about cytokine reactions in utero, and basically that a flu shot triggers one just like natural infection does. I always felt vaccination in pregnancy isn't explored enough to prove safety and benefits (no longterm studies, no studies of health/mental health of children of vaccinated moms vs. unvaccinated) so I always opted against it and will again if I should ever be pregnant again (most likely nope). Maybe someone with the right link can chime in. I lost all mine when chrome crashed big time.

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