Autism suffers present a widespread range of antibodies against brain tissue and one protein in particular seems to be the major target of these antibodies claim a group of scientists in the July issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology. The researchers also show that these antibodies are not genetically determined, as parents of affected individuals do not exhibit them, and so are probably not involved in disease appearance.
Immune abnormalities, including antibodies against the central nervous system, have previously been associated with autism but this is the first study that unequivocally proves such a correlation as earlier findings relied on analyses of a small number of individuals and did not contain appropriate controls.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental syndrome that appears in the first three years of life and affects more boys than girls at a ratio of 3-4:1. The disorder is characterized by socially detached behaviour together with impairment of language and social interaction. Patients tend to have extreme difficulty in learning through experience and consequently adapting their behaviour to respond to life’s changes. The social world and its unpredictability is particularly problematic and can create extreme anxieties exacerbating the disease. Life outcomes range from complete dependence to independent life depending on the intensity of the symptoms and how these were treated from early life.
Catarina Amorim | alfa
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