Immunologic and neurodevelopmental susceptibilities of autism

Neurotoxicology. 2008 May;29(3):532-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2008.02.006. Epub 2008 Feb 23.


Symposium 5 focused on research approaches that are aimed at understanding common patterns of immunological and neurological dysfunction contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. The session focused on genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors that might act in concert to influence autism risk, severity and co-morbidities, and immunological and neurobiological targets as etiologic contributors. The immune system of children at risk of autism may be therefore especially susceptible to psychological stressors, exposure to chemical triggers, and infectious agents. Identifying early biomarkers of risk provides tangible approaches toward designing studies in animals and humans that yield a better understanding of environmental risk factors, and can help identify rational intervention strategies to mitigate these risks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / toxicity
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / chemically induced
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / chemically induced*
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Autistic Disorder / immunology*
  • Autistic Disorder / pathology
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Autoantibodies / toxicity
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk
  • Thimerosal / toxicity


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Autoantibodies
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Thimerosal
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Grant support