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Systemic immune abnormalities have no known relevance to brain dysfunction in autism. In order to find evidence for neuroinflammation, we compared levels of sensitive indicators of immune activation: quinolinic acid, neopterin, and biopterin, as well as multiple cytokines and cytokine receptors, in cerebrospinal fluid and serum from children with autism, to(More)
Gestational and genetic factors can contribute to autism during infancy and early childhood through their effects on fetal brain development. Previous twin studies have shown strong genetic components for the development of autism, a disorder that can have multiple causes. We investigated the effects of prenatal overstimulation of the beta2-adrenergic(More)
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder presenting before 3 years of age with deficits in communication and social skills and repetitive behaviors. In addition to genetic influences, recent studies suggest that prenatal drug or chemical exposures are risk factors for autism. Terbutaline, a beta2-adrenoceptor agonist used to arrest preterm labor, has been(More)
Normal development of the central nervous system depends on complex, dynamic mechanisms with multiple spatial and temporal components during gestation. Neurodevelopmental disorders may originate during fetal life from genetic as well as intrauterine and extrauterine factors that affect the fetal-maternal environment. Fetal neurodevelopment depends on cell(More)
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder of prenatal onset that is behaviorally defined. There is increasing evidence for systemic and neuroimmune mechanisms in children with autism. Although genetic factors are important, atypical prenatal maternal immune responses may also be linked to the pathogenesis of autism. We tested serum reactivity in 11 mothers(More)
This study aims to investigate the association between prenatal exposure to terbutaline and other β2 adrenergic receptor (B2AR) agonists and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The methodology used is a case-control study among children born from 1995 to 1999 at Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals. Cases (n = 291) were children with an ASD(More)
Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized primarily by excessive accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain for which there is currently no effective pharmacological treatment. Surgery, often accompanied by complications, is the only current treatment. Extensive research in our laboratory along with work from others has suggested a link between(More)
Serotonin is necessary for normal fetal brain development. Administration of serotonin inhibitors to pregnant rats results in offspring with abnormal behaviors, brain morphology, and serotonin receptor numbers. Low maternal plasma serotonin may contribute to abnormal brain development in autism. In this study, plasma serotonin levels in autism mothers and(More)
Stress exposure during gestation is implicated in several neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous research showed that prenatal stress increases risk for ASD with peak exposure during the end of the second and the beginning of the third trimester. However, exposures to prenatal stress do not always result in ASD,(More)
The beta2-adrenergic receptor is part of the catecholamine system, and variants at two polymorphic sites in the gene coding for the receptor (ADRB2) confer increased activity. Overstimulation of this receptor may alter brain development, and has been linked to autism in non-identical twins. The objective of this study was to determine whether alleles in(More)