MYTH: Maternal Health Conditions as a Cause of Autism

Diabetes, obesity, metabolic conditions, as well as allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases - all these maternal health conditions during pregnancy were shown by the studies to increase the risk of having a child with autism.

 

However, it is known that both metabolic and autoimmune conditions are accompanied by an inflammatory component and immune activation.

 

Moreover, it is known that chronic infections can lead to each of these conditions.

 

While all other physiological processes in these conditions are very different and affect different systems, the common components are infections and inflammation as etiopathogenic factors. The causal inference from maternal infections and inflammation to ASD are well described, meaning that above mentioned maternal health conditions are transitory between the primary etiologic factors and autism in a child.  

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