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Science Library Category:

Autism - Autism Spectrum Disorder - ASD

Parental asthma and risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring: a population and family-based case-control study
Published: 2019
SYNOPSIS

Children of mothers with asthma are at increased risk of developing autism, highlighting the importance of studying environmental risk factors during pregnancy.

Citation

Gong T, Lundholm C, Rejno G, et al. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2019 Feb 11.

 

Summary

This large observational study reports that children of mothers with asthma are at increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study looked at all children born in Sweden between 1992 and 2007, including almost 23,000 children with ASD. The researchers posit that maternal immune activation during pregnancy may represent a biological mechanism explaining the association. The increased ASD risk could not be explained by socioeconomic, demographic, or genetic factors, underscoring “the importance of investigating other maternal environmental factors.”

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Dynamical features in fetal and postnatal zinc-copper metabolic cycles predict the emergence of autism spectrum disorder
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Mount Sinai research could result in an early diagnostic system for autism spectrum disorder.

CITATION

Curtin P, et al. Science Advances. 2018;4:eaat1293.

SUMMARY

Using evidence found in baby teeth, researchers from the Institute for Exposomic Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report that cycles involved in zinc and copper metabolism are dysregulated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and can be used to predict who will later develop the condition. The researchers used the teeth to reconstruct prenatal and early-life exposures to nutrient and toxic elements in healthy and autistic children.

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Differential immune responses and microbiota profiles in children with autism spectrum disorders and co-morbid gastrointestinal symptoms
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms have an imbalance in their immune response that affects behavior and quality of life.

CITATION

Rose DR, Yang H, Serena G, Sturgeon C, Ma B, Careaga M, Hughes HK, Angkustsiri K, Rose M, Hertz-Picciotto I, Van de Water J, Hansen RL, Ravel J, Fasano A, Ashwood P. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2018;70:354-368.

SUMMARY

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and concurrent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms have a more imbalanced immune response, a more disturbed gut microbiome and worse behavioral outcomes (such as irritability, agitation, social withdrawal, lethargy, hyperactivity and noncompliance) than ASD children without GI symptoms. The study additionally looked at typically developing children with and without GI symptoms and found that ASD+GI children stood out compared to those two groups as well. Children with ASD plus GI symptoms may have a “propensity” toward leaky gut that contributes to their other symptoms and clinical outcomes.

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Immunoexcitotoxicity as the central mechanism of etiopathology and treatment of autism spectrum disorders: a possible role of fluoride and aluminum
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Fluoride and aluminum, alone or in combination, can produce the condition of “immunoexcitotoxicity” that leads to the pathological changes seen in autism. 

Citation

Strunecka A, Blaylock RL, Patocka J, Strunecky O. Surgical Neurology International. 2018;9:74.

 

Summary

Children experience sequential immune stimulation from a growing number of neurotoxic metals and chemicals, vaccines and persistent viral infections. This excessive immune activation is the “initiating and sustaining event” in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), triggering inflammation and a cascade of excitotoxicity (damaged nerve cells). The fluoride added to drinking water and the aluminum in vaccines—singly or synergistically as aluminofluoride—can be potent factors in producing the condition of “immunoexcitotoxicity” that leads to the pathological changes seen in ASD.

 

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Vaccines and neuroinflammation
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Vaccination can trigger a series of cascading events that disturbs the balance between “protective immunity” and “destructive inflammation.”

Citation

Giannotta G, Giannotta N. International Journal of Public Health & Safety. 2018;3:3.

 

Summary

This study explores molecular mechanisms capable of explaining “post-vaccination inflammatory syndrome” and the neuroinflammation observed in children with autism. Focusing especially on vaccines (such as HPV vaccines) that contain biopersistent aluminum adjuvants, the authors describe how “continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant…may become insidiously unsafe,” especially in children who are vaccinated repeatedly or who have an immature or altered blood-brain barrier. Vaccination can trigger a series of cascading events (involving overexpression of the signaling molecules that regulate inflammation and activation of brain cells called microglia) that disturbs the balance between “protective immunity” and “destructive inflammation.”

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Association of maternal insecticide levels with autism in offspring from a national birth cohort
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

The offspring of mothers exposed to DDT and its metabolites during pregnancy are at increased risk for autism.

Citation

Brown AS, Cheslack-Postava K, Rantakokko P, et al. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2018;175:1094-1101.

 

Summary

The study provides the first evidence based on biomarkers of an increased autism risk in the offspring of mothers exposed to certain insecticides during pregnancy. In this large national birth cohort study of Finnish children, the odds of autism plus intellectual disability were increased by greater than twofold in mothers measuring with the highest levels of a DDT metabolite.

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Acetaminophen, antibiotics, ear infection, breastfeeding, vitamin D drops, and autism: an epidemiological study
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

In children under age two, four postnatal risk factors (acetaminophen use, antibiotic use, ear infections and early weaning) were associated with an increased risk of autism.

Citation

Bittker SS, Bell KR. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2018;14:1399-1414.

 

Summary

This study suggests that increased use of acetaminophen and antibiotics in children under age two, along with an increased incidence of ear infections in the first two years and early weaning, are associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers conducted a large parent Internet survey covering over 1,500 three- to twelve-year-old children who either had or did not have ASD. The findings replicate other studies focused on these postnatal ASD risk factors.

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Prenatal stress, maternal immune dysregulation, and their association with autism spectrum disorders
Published: 2018
SYNOPSIS

Two prenatal exposures—stress and maternal immune dysregulation—are associated with autism, probably in combination with other genetic and environmental risk factors.

Citation

Beversdorf DQ, Stevens HE, Jones KL. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2018;20:76.

 

Summary

Prenatal stress and disruption of a pregnant woman’s immune response (“maternal immune activation”) are two environmental factors associated with the increased incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the fact that, in many cases, these prenatal exposures do not result in ASD suggests an “interaction with multiple other risks.” Some evidence points to greater susceptibility to prenatal stress and maternal immune dysregulation in male offspring.

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Subcutaneous injections of aluminum at vaccine adjuvant levels activate innate immune genes in mouse brain that are homologous with biomarkers of autism
Published: 2017
SYNOPSIS

Aluminum adjuvants promote brain inflammation, and males appear to be more susceptible to aluminum’s toxic effects.

CITATION

Li D, Tomljenovic L, Li Y, Shaw CA. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2017;177:39–54.

SUMMARY

Autism manifests in early childhood, during a window of early developmental vulnerability where the normal developmental trajectory is most susceptible to xenobiotic insults. Aluminum (Al) vaccine adjuvants are xenobiotics with immunostimulating and neurotoxic properties to which infants worldwide are routinely exposed. This research found that aluminum triggered innate immune system activation and altered neurotransmitter activity in male mice, observations which are consistent with those in autism. Female mice were less susceptible to aluminum as the frontal cortex was the most affected area in males and the cerebellum in females. These findings suggest that aluminum adjuvants promote brain inflammation and that males appear to be more susceptible to aluminum′s toxic effects. (Note: This study has since been retracted by the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, but the importance of the topic prompted our decision to keep it in our science library.)

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Assessment of hair aluminum, lead, and mercury in a sample of autistic Egyptian children: Environmental risk factors of heavy metals in autism
Published: 2015
SYNOPSIS

Autistic children accumulate metals at a much higher level than children who do not have a diagnosis of autism.

CITATION

El Baz Mohamed F, Zaky EA, Bassuoni EI-Sayed A, et al. Behavioural Neurology. 2015, Article ID 545674.

SUMMARY

Researchers found the mean levels of mercury, lead and aluminum in hair of autistic patients were significantly higher than in controls. Mercury, lead and aluminum levels were positively correlated with maternal fish consumption, living near gasoline stations and the usage of aluminum pans, respectively.

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A dose-response relationship between organic mercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders
Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Neurodevelopmental disorders are much more common in children who received mercury-containing vaccines.

CITATION

Geier DA, Hooker BS, Kern JK, King PG, Sykes LK, Geier MR. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014;11:9156-9170.

SUMMARY

On a per microgram of organic-mercury (Hg) basis, pervasive developmental disorder, specific developmental disorder, tic disorder and hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood cases were significantly more likely than controls to receive increased organic-Hg exposure. This study provides new epidemiological evidence supporting a significant relationship between increasing organic-Hg exposure from vaccines and the subsequent risk of a neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis.

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Transcriptomic analyses of neurotoxic effects in mouse brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal
Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Chinese scientists find mice injected with thimerosal (vaccine mercury) have behavioral impairments similar to autism.

CITATION

Li X, Qu F, Xie W, et al. Toxicological Sciences. 2014;139:452–465.

SUMMARY

“Thimerosal-treated mice exhibited neural development delay, social interaction deficiency, and inclination of depression. Apparent neuropathological changes were also observed in adult mice neonatally treated with thimerosal. High-throughput RNA sequencing of autistic-behaved mice brains revealed the alternation of a number of canonical pathways involving neuronal development, neuronal synaptic function, and the dysregulation of endocrine system.”

Mesenchymal stem cells in treating autism: novel insights
Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

Mesenchymal stem cells may be promising candidates for addressing autism-related immune dysregulation.

Citation

Siniscalco D, Bradstreet JJ, Sych N, Antonucci N. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2014;6:173-178.

 

Summary

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess unique immunological properties that make them promising candidates in regenerative medicine, with the potential to address the immune dysregulation often observed in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study describes a variety of mechanisms through which MSCs could exert a positive effect in ASD.

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A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors
Published: 2014
SYNOPSIS

UC-Boulder professor says the autism epidemic is real and therefore must be the product of an environmental factor.

CITATION

Nevison CD. Environmental Health. 2014;13:73.

SUMMARY

“Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s. In contrast, children’s exposure to most of the top ten toxic compounds has remained flat or decreased over this same time frame. Environmental factors with increasing temporal trends can help suggest hypotheses for drivers of autism that merit further investigation.”

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Can awareness of medical pathophysiology in autism lead to primary care autism prevention strategies?
Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Following implementation of changes in a pediatric medical practice to address autism risks, no new cases of autism occurred.

Citation

Mumper E. North American Journal of Medicine and Science. 2013;6:134-144.

 

Summary

In 2005, the author’s pediatric practice implemented seven changes to address autism risks, focusing on minimizing environmental toxicant exposure, encouraging prolonged breastfeeding, recommending probiotics, providing nutritional counseling, limiting use of antibiotics and acetaminophen and allowing a modified vaccine schedule. No new cases of autism occurred in children born between 2005 and 2011, even though the CDC autism rate would have predicted about six new cases in the practice over that period. The author cautions that “epidemiology may be too blunt a tool to determine all risks for subsets of the population who may be more vulnerable to vaccine reactions.”

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Aluminum in the central nervous system (CNS): toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity
Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Canadian researchers: aluminum in vaccines can cause both autoimmunity and neurological damage.

CITATION

Shaw C, Tomljenovic L. Immunologic Research. 2013;56:304–316.

SUMMARY

“In young children, a highly significant correlation exists between the number of pediatric aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered and the rate of autism spectrum disorders. Many of the features of aluminum-induced neurotoxicity may arise, in part, from autoimmune reactions, as part of the ASIA syndrome. Aluminum is added to vaccines to help the vaccine work more effectively, but unlike dietary aluminum which will usually clear rapidly from the body, aluminum used in vaccines and injected is designed to provide a long-lasting cellular exposure. Thus, the problem with vaccine-derived aluminum is really twofold: It drives the immune response even in the absence of a viral or bacterial threat and it can make its way into the central nervous system. It is not really a matter of much debate that aluminum in various forms can be neurotoxic.”

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A two-phase study evaluating the relationship between Thimerosal-containing vaccine administration and the risk for an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in the United States
Published: 2013
SYNOPSIS

Infants receiving mercury-containing vaccines had much higher rates of autism than infants receiving vaccines without mercury.

CITATION

Geier DA, Hooker BS, Kern JK, King PG, Sykes LK, Geier MR. Translational Neurodegeneration. 2013;2:25.

SUMMARY

“The present study provides new epidemiological evidence supporting an association between increasing organic-Hg [mercury] exposure from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and the subsequent risk of ASD [autism] diagnosis.”

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Neurologic adverse events following vaccination
Published: 2012
SYNOPSIS

Polish scientists propose new vaccine schedule, express concern at high rate of vaccine adverse events.

CITATION

Sienkiewicz D, Kulak W, Okurowska-Zawada B, Paszko-Patej G. Progress in Health Sciences. 2012;2.

SUMMARY

“[I]t is not reasonable to assume that manipulation of the immune system through an increasing number of vaccinations during critical periods of brain development will not result in adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. European countries have different models of vaccination that have been modified in recent decades. In Scandinavian countries, which have the lowest infant mortality, vaccinations are voluntary and infants receive their first vaccination at 3 months of age. In the first year of life, they receive 9 recommended vaccinations, and at 18 months – MMR. The acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) is used, as well as IPV. BCG and Hepatitis B vaccines are administered to children from high risk groups. Similar vaccination schedules exist in other European countries, where the vaccination of neonates was abandoned and a ban on the use of thimerosal in vaccines was introduced. Note also that Scandinavian countries have the lowest rates of autism compared to other developed countries in which children are vaccinated much earlier and with greater number of vaccines.”

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Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?
Published: 2011
SYNOPSIS

Canadian researchers report vaccine aluminum and autism prevalence related.

CITATION

Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2011;105:1489-1499.

SUMMARY

“Dysfunctional immunity and impaired brain function are core deficits in ASD. Aluminum (Al), the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator. Hence, adjuvant Al has the potential to induce neuroimmune disorders. The application of the Hill’s criteria to these data indicates that the correlation between Al in vaccines and ASD may be causal. Because children represent a fraction of the population most at risk for complications following exposure to Al, a more rigorous evaluation of Al adjuvant safety seems warranted. By satisfying eight of the Hill’s criteria for establishing causality applicable to our study, we show that Al-adjuvanted vaccines may be a significant etiological factor in the rising prevalence of ASD in the Western world. We also show that children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have a much higher exposure to Al from vaccines, particularly at 2 months of age.”

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Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the question of incidence
Published: 2010
SYNOPSIS

Scientists review literature and raise concerns about denial of environmental toxin link to autism.

CITATION

DeSoto MC, Hitlan RT. ACTA Neurobiological Experimentals. 2010;70:165–176.

SUMMARY

“In this paper, we argue that increasingly over the past decade, positions that deny a link to environmental toxins and autism are based on relatively weak science and are disregarding the bulk of scientific literature. The question about toxic exposure and autism is open, with the weight of evidence favoring a connection that is not well understood. Although it is not possible to say with certainty, it seems likely that the connection would be mediated by genetic susceptibility and ability to detoxify. That is, some people have genotypes that confer higher susceptibility to toxic exposures. If so, then 50 years ago few people would have had enough toxic exposure to have the neurological changes that result in autism.”

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Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002
Published: 2010
SYNOPSIS

SUNY-Stony Brook scientists find boys receiving the hepatitis B vaccine series are three times more likely to have autism.

CITATION

Gallagher C, Goodman M. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A. 2010;73:1665–1677.

SUMMARY

“Boys vaccinated as neonates had threefold greater odds for autism diagnosis compared to boys never vaccinated or vaccinated after the first month of life. Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period.”

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Activation of methionine synthase by insulin-like growth factor-1 and dopamine: a target for neurodevelopmental toxins and thimerosal
Published: 2004
SYNOPSIS

Scientists identify vaccine mercury’s role in blocking crucial neurodevelopmental pathways.

CITATION

M Waly, H Olteanu, R Banerjee, S-W Choi, JB Mason, BS Parker, S Sukumar, S Shim,
A Sharma, JM Benzecry, V-A Power-Charnitsky and RC Deth. Molecular Psychiatry , (2004) 9, 358–370.

SUMMARY

“The ethylmercury-containing preservative thimerosal inhibited both IGF-1- and dopamine-stimulated methylation with an IC50 of 1nM and eliminated MS activity. Our findings outline a novel growth factor signaling pathway that regulates MS activity and thereby modulates methylation reactions, including DNA methylation. The potent inhibition of this pathway by ethanol, lead, mercury, aluminum and thimerosal suggest that it may be an important target of neurodevelopmental toxins.”

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Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism
Published: 2002
SYNOPSIS

Utah state scientists find autoimmune reaction to MMR in children with autism, including autoimmunity to myelin basic protein, a brain building-block.

CITATION

Singh VK, Lin SX, Newell E, Nelson C. Journal of Biomedical Science. 2002;9:359–364.

SUMMARY

“[A]s described herein, autistic children showed a serological correlation between MMR and brain autoimmunity, i.e., over 90% of MMR antibody-positive autistic sera also had autoantibodies to brain MBP. This is quite an intriguing observation in favor of a connection between atypical measles infection and autism; an atypical infection usually refers to infection that occurs in the absence of a rash. An atypical measles infection in the absence of a rash and unusual neurological symptoms was recently described to suggest the existence of a variant MV in children and adults. In light of these new findings, we suggest that a considerable proportion of autistic cases may result from an atypical measles infection that does not produce a rash but causes neurological symptoms in some children. The source of this virus could be a variant MV or it could be the MMR vaccine.”

Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccine in first month of life
Published: 2000
SYNOPSIS

Infants receiving mercury-containing vaccines developed speech disorders, sleep disorders and autism, according to CDC scientists.

CITATION

Verstraeten TM, Davies R, Gu D, DeStefano F. Proceedings of the Epidemic Intelligence Service Annual Conference, April 2000.

SUMMARY

“This analysis suggests that high exposure to ethylmercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first month of life increases the risk of subsequent development of neurologic development impairment.”

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