Review Article Open Access
Volume 2 | Issue 2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.33696/immunology.1.019

Autism – A Potential Autoimmune Disease Neurodegeneration-Induced Autoantibodies against Neural Proteins

  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA
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Corresponding Author

Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, donia@duke.edu

Received Date: October 21, 2019

Accepted Date: January 12, 2020


We hypothesize that maternal neurodegeneration, resulting from a chemical, infectious or physical brain injury event, can be causative in the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Following a maternal brain injury event before or during gestation, maternal neural proteins escape the breached blood brain barrier (BBB), triggering the formation of IgG autoantibodies. Subsequently, the autoantibodies cross the placenta and enter the fetal brain causing ASD. We propose the circulating maternal IgG autoantibodies (1) as a potential target for prevention, as a decrease could either possibly prevent ASD or lessen its severity, and (2) as biomarkers for screening, diagnosis and treatment of ASD in infants and children. This research on ASD has the potential to affect health care policies concerning women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and lead to novel treatment of ASD.



Severity, Autoantibodies

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