Mother’s Antibodies May Explain a Quarter of Autism Cases

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A test for six antibodies in an expectant mom’s blood may predict with more than 99% certainty which children are at highest risk of developing autism.

In a study published in Translational Psychiatry, researchers report that 23% of all cases of autism may result from the presence of maternal antibodies that interfere with fetal brain development during pregnancy. The work builds on a 2008 study from the same scientists that first described the group of antibodies in mothers-to-be. The latest paper describes the specific antibodies and provides more detail on what they do.

“It’s very exciting,” says Alycia Halladay, Senior Director of Environmental and Clinical Sciences for Autism Speaks, who was not associated with the research.

MORE: Unique Brain Pattern Could Predict Autism in Youngest Children

The research is already leading to what could be the first biological test for autism; the antibodies are found almost exclusively in mothers of autistic children, and not in children with other types of disorders or in mothers of non-autistic children. Only 1% of mothers whose children were not affected by autism had the antibodies in their blood, compared to 23% of mothers of autistic children. Judith Van de Water, an immunologist and professor of internal medicine at the University of California Davis MIND Institute and the study’s lead author, has consulted for a company, Pediatric Bioscience, that is developing a commercial version of the test, but the research was not funded by that organization and was supported primarily by the National Institute on Environmental Health Sciences.

“We haven’t found any [mothers] who have these antibodies and don’t have children with some sort of developmental disability issue,” says Van de Water. “We feel this really identifies a subtype of autism.”

MORE: Unique Brain Pattern Could Predict Autism in Youngest Children

The antibodies belong to a class of compounds called autoantibodies, which are immune cells that the body makes to target — often mistakenly — its own cells. Scientists do not know why or when the mothers produce these antibodies, which appear to monkey with normal nerve development in the fetal brain by interfering with their growth, migration and genetic replication. It is possible that infections during pregnancy — a known risk factor for autism —can prompt the immune system to produce them. Exposure to toxic chemicals can also cause immune defenders to mistake healthy cells for invaders, Van de Water notes.

The study involved 246 autistic children and their mothers, as well as 149 typically developing children. Of the mothers tested, all but one with the antibodies had an autistic child— and the child of the remaining mother had ADHD, a condition that often occurs along with autism.  That suggests that a positive test almost certainly indicates a developmental disability.  However, since 77% of the mothers of autistic children did not have these antibodies, Van de Water says, a negative test would not rule out all risk of autism.

And so far, the presence of the antibodies do not seem to be associated with any particular form of autism. “Certain behaviors seem to be associated with this, including stereotyped repetitive behavior like hand-flapping and lower levels of expressive language,” says Van de Water, but no unique behavioral signature has been found so far. The children also did not seem to score differently on cognitive tests than other youngsters with autism.

The study did not include any children with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that generally involves less severe developmental disability, because most of the study participants were between ages two and five, which is often before Asperger’s is identified.

In another paper published simultaneously in the same journal, other UC Davis researchers injected  the antibodies that were purified from mothers of autistic children into pregnant monkeys, and found that the offspring showed abnormal social behavior. That further confirms that the antibodies play some role in early brain development, and supports the idea that these proteins deserve further study for their role in autism.

Halladay cautions that the test is not yet close to being approved for widespread use, and that the research on these antibodies is still in its infancy. “I think lots more work needs to be done,” she says, “The jury is still out and we don’t really know yet if it can really be used as biomarker.”

MORE: New Study Suggests Autism Can be ‘Outgrown’

If and when the test is available, Van de Water says that it probably won’t be used in pregnant women first. Instead, it could become a way to test women before they become pregnant to screen them for this risk of autism. Some women in the study who were informed of their antibody status have already decided against having further children.

Parents may be spared those difficult decisions, however, if medications become available to block these antibodies from crossing the placenta and affecting the developing child. And even if mothers who test positive decide to continue with their pregnancy, knowing their status could help them to take advantage of therapies that can reduce the disability their children experience from the condition.

241 comments
Paul17
Paul17

I heard a great talk by Dr. Joel Wallach about how autism is caused due to a mineral/supplement deficiency in the mother whilst the fetus is developing in the womb. His premiss was that the mother doesn't have enough of these particular nutrients in her body when the fetus is developing and this is what leads to autism. Apparently there is a 3 week window early in the pregnancy where certain parts of the brain are developing and without the right building blocks to draw from then this is what causes it. Was pretty interesting and made a lot of sense to me http://www.seobrisbanehq.com.au/. I believe you can find the talk on YouTube.

buzzreview
buzzreview

That would be a good publication of researchers injected  the antibodies that were purified from mothers of autistic children into pregnant monkeys, and found that the offspring showed abnormal social behavior. Thank you for this valuable information. http://www.asiatic-lion.org/

buzzreview
buzzreview

The antibodies belong to a class of compounds called autoantibodies, which are immune cells that the body makes to target? - Well, that's a very interesting revelation. A very interesting topic people should read. http://www.eccsociety.com/

mystyb
mystyb

WHICH antibodies do the mother's have? Is there a link to the researcher we can test for them? Does anyone know of holistic ways to stop antibodies? This article rings a huge truth to me. Would surrogacy avoid this damage?

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

so you're saying it's likely jenny mccarthy's fault that her son has autism and not the fault of vaccines? what a shocker

mystyb
mystyb

@cjh2nd but 75% chance of other environmental factor.. shocking..

CynthiaParker
CynthiaParker

Nerd.,

All pet care books and vets, including ours, say that mercury was taken out of pet vaccines in 1990. Your links showed that it was still in some animal vaccines, and the discussion I put up a link to indicated uncertainty as to whether mercury had been taken out of all pet vaccines. What I can say is that the veterinary association has recognized the danger of mercury in vaccines, and of vaccines in general, holding them responsible for the tremendous upsurge in cases of aggressive and fatal cancer and all the autoimmune diseases, formerly rare to nonexistent, now common. Yearly boosters are no longer recommended: they are not necessary, and are harmful. We took in a stray cat a few months ago, and I learned that a different limb has been assigned to each vaccine, so that if the vaccine causes cancer, it is easier to amputate the limb than to remove it from the scruff of the neck, the former preferred site. And assigning different limbs to each vaccine makes it easy to tell what vaccine caused the tumor.

You guys have had your day, it's almost over, better reframe your résumé to emphasize other skills.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

Truly amazing....

#1:"All pet care books and vets, including ours, say that mercury was taken out of pet vaccines in 1990."

The point the you so systematically avoid is that your information sources are not truthful....

Oh, and no matter how many times this simple fact is pointed out you continue to absolutely refuse to fact-check your sources.... all you had to do was to Google....took less than a min...

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

#2:"I put up a link to indicated uncertainty as to whether mercury had been taken out of all pet vaccines."

This is a complete misrepresentation of your own link.Someone asserted that thimerosal had been removed from animal vaccines....some folks just accepted this assertion...others like "Sharon" fact-checked and found the truth.....a model for you to emulate.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

#3:"What I can say is that the veterinary association has recognized the danger of mercury in vaccines, and of vaccines in general..."

Having many colleagues that are vets I can say that the anti-vaccs are just as dishonest and use the same misinformation techniques with animal vaccine as they do with human vaccines.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

#4:"Yearly boosters are no longer recommended: they are not necessary, and are harmful.

Yearly boosters are still recommended because they are helpful and safe with some animal vaccines.

Once again, you didn't fact-check and you didn't even correctly read the links provided below.....how typical.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

#5:"And assigning different limbs to each vaccine makes it easy to tell what vaccine caused the tumor."

No surprise, an assertion of some horrible thing-in this case cancer--that is claimed to be caused by vaccines....so naturally you would never, ever, make even the tiniest effort to try and determine if the claim was true or not.....

Here is a very recent study that references more than 2 decades of investigations into the claim that vaccination causes cancer in cats:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3608079/

"It has been suggested that vaccination could be a risk factor for FISS, but the evidence for a causal relationship is weak,"

But let'sbe honest here, you aren't actually going to bother reading the data much less trying to understand it....are you?

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

#6:"You guys have had your day, it's almost over, better reframe your résumé to emphasize other skills."

Thanks for the irony.

(a) there is a large number of links provided to you below, where all you have to do is to read the words to see that the anti-vaccs are a heath care fraud.Time after time you choose ignore the fact that anti-vaccs flagrantly lied to you.

(b) you have completely ignored the de Water paper--the one that this Time entry was about.You have to ignore it because it provides powerful data that autism starts in utero and it references decades of data showing that autism starts in utero....clearly no honest argument can be made that vaccines cause autism....so you choose willful ignorance.

(c) actually vaccines are going to increase in usage and numbers because the world-wide experience of health insurance companies/systems is universally the same:vaccines are incredibly safe and effective.Your anti-vacc arguments are without the tiniest shred of truth.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

(d) actually anyone paying attention will have noticed that we are in the end-stage of the anti-vacc fraud.

Legal actions are on-going on both sides of the Atlantic against the anti-vacc "scientists"

The anti-vacc doctors and lawyers are being censored/losing their licenses.

The courts are refusing to even listen the anti-vaccs.

The complete intellectual/scientific/medical/legal/ethical failure of the anti-vaccs is clearly documented....anytime you care enough to look.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker @AlbusNerdisky

Wrong.

Your link to a summary of the recommendation clearly explains that frequency of boosting vaccine doses depends…..it depends on the animal, the circumstances and the vaccine in question.

You didn’t correctly read your link.

You also didn’t bother to read the actual WSAVA recommendations.Here they are:
http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf

If it has been your intent to make a mockery of the anti-vaccs….to demonstrates that they systematically misrepresent basically every detail….and that all it takes is the most modest literacy skills to see their scam in action….you have succeeded admirably….

Thanks again,

W&N

CynthiaParker
CynthiaParker

@AlbusNerdisky @CynthiaParker It is you who are ill-informed. The American Veterinary Medical Association in April 2001 published a position paper in which it stated that the recommendation since the 1970s for annual boosters for dogs and cats was based on historical precedent and Dept of Agriculture regularion, with NO SCIENTIFIC DATA. Even when some scientific data was submitted, it did not resolve the question of average or maximum duration of immunity. It also found that there was evidence that vaccines provided immunity for much longer than one year. It states that protection is often lifelong.

CynthiaParker
CynthiaParker

@AlbusNerdisky @CynthiaParker

Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XI states that yearly boosters "lack scientific validity and verification." "Almost without exception, there is no immunological requirement for revaccination." In 2003, the American Animal Hospital Association published a paper stating that vets should not revaccinate more often than is needed, and then only for diseases for which the animal is demonstrably at risk. The reason is that vaccines often cause immune suppression, arthritis, autoimmune disease, skin disease, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, and cancer.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker @AlbusNerdisky

Thank you again for the public service of demonstrating what a scam the anti-vaccs are.

1.Your assertion:“Yearly boosters are no longer recommended”

Your reference—WSAVA

And what does WSAVA actually recommend for boosters?

CPiV; MLV,parenteral-- Revaccination (booster) at 1 year, then annually

CPiV (MLV, intranasal)-- Revaccination (booster) at 1 year, then annually

Bordetella bronchiseptica (live avirulent bacteria, intranasal)-- Annually or more often in very high-risk animals

Borrelia burgdorferi(Lyme borreliosis;killed whole bacterin,parenteral)-- Annually. Revaccinate just prior to start of tick season as determined regionally

Canine influenza virus (CIV; killed adjuvanted, parenteral)—Annually

Rabies (canary pox virus-vectored recombinant, non-adjuvanted, parenteral)—Annual

Chlamydophila felis (avirulent live, non-adjuvanted,parenteral)-- Annual booster is indicated for cats with sustained exposure risk.

Etc, etc….there are a number of more examples of recommended annual boosting.

Once again the anti-vaccs are caught out right making things up and your only response is to ignore the facts.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker @AlbusNerdisky

2. Safety

I have already provided you decades of data on testing for vaccines causing cancer in animals.You ignored the facts.

Your reference:Vaccines do not cause autoimmune disease.

Again, the anti-vaccs are caught outright making things up and your only response is to ignore the facts.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker @AlbusNerdisky

3.Changing the subject.....

(a) To the American Veterinary Medical Association.Here is their recommendations for dog vaccines.

Look at that, they too recommend annual revaccinations:

http://www.mobilevetservice.net/docs/Canine%20vacc%20chart.pdf

(b) To Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XI—is the 1992 version.And just like the current version XIV, it recommends annual boosters as per WSAVA.

Yes you can play this game of posting anti-vacc assertions for a very long time.

What you can’t do is post a competent, much less honest, anti-vacc argument.

Cheers,

W&N

CynthiaParker
CynthiaParker

Nerd.:http://www.remedyspot.com/showthread.php/405902-Pet-Vaccines-Thimerosal

Discussion on whether or not thimerosal (mercury) was removed from pet vaccines in 1990, it appears you are right and it was not removed from all pet or all animal vaccines. Naturally vaccine companies will say one thing and then go on to do another. But all responsible vets now advise being very cautious with what vaccines you give  your pet, as it has now become so well-known that vaccines often cause cancer and many kinds of intractable autoimmune disease. See The Mark of the Beast by Dr. Paticia Jordan, and books by veterinarians Don Hamilton, Richard Pitcairn, Jean Dodds, Marty Goldstein, and Richard Goldstein.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

Thank you for reading the links and acknowledging that the claim that thimerosal was removed from animal vaccines is not true.

Now there are lots more examples below for you to also fact-check....

"Naturally vaccine companies will say one thing and then go on to do another."

Huh?You have not provided any links to vaccine companies saying anything.Much provide an example of them saying one thing and doing another....

Animal vaccines or human vaccines....same story, one gets the truth by fact-checking and using actual scientists as sources for your science.

Once again you referred us to a bunch of non-scientists. anti-vaccs...like Patricia Jordan who makes money scamming folks that can't figure out her arguments against germ theory are completely untrue.

Mostly harmless.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

Thank you so much.

I very much appreciate how you use the same handle on-line.

This made it really easy yesterday in the parents support group to notice that you left the Time site and ran around posting anti-vaccs falsehoods that you absolute have to know are not true.

On behalf of families everywhere, thanks for making the anti-vaccs scam so very, very clear.

Cheers,

W&N

CynthiaParker
CynthiaParker

http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/chapter2.html Link with further links and information on Simpsonwood and mercury in vaccines. Notice that it was undeniable that mercury had caused autism in a lot of children, vaccine officials said they could take mercury out immediately, but were told that wouldn't be necessary, that the same vaccines were going to continue to be used. And all this ten years after mercury was removed from pet vaccines as it was recognized as being very dangerous. So they gave my baby at midnight, May 5, 2000, a ridiculous, unnecessary hep-B vax the day she was born, with mercury and without permission, and she reacted to it with encephalitis and autism.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

Thank for the public service of demonstrating exactly how the anti-vacc fraud works.

1. “And all this ten years after mercury was removed from pet vaccines as it was recognized as being very dangerous

Took about 5 seconds to find a pig vaccine:

https://online.zoetis.com/US/EN/Products/pdf/FosteraPCV_ProductInformation_FINAL.pdf

Contains gentamicin and thimerosal as preservatives.”

To find a horse vaccine:
https://online.zoetis.com/US/EN/products/Pages/Fluvac_Innovator.aspx

Thimerosal, neomycin and polymyxin B are added as preservatives”

To find a DOG vaccine:

https://online.zoetis.com/US/EN/Products/Pages/LymeVax_oloe.aspx

“Thimerosal added as a preservative.”

Fact is the anti-vaccs lied to you when they claimed that thimersosal had been removed from animal/pet vaccines.

But since you absolutely refuse to fact-check they deceived you again.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

2. putchildrenfirst link.

"the number of dose related relationships [between mercury and autism] are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant." - Dr. William Weil, American Academy of Pediatrics. Simpsonwood, GA, June 7, 2000

Surprise, there is no link here to the actual Simpsonwood transcript.I have posted it for you twice below and I have even referred you to the exact page to read.

Here again are the results for autism:

Page 44--the data on autism: "This is the result for autism, in which we don't see much of a trend except for a slight, but not significant, increase for the highest exposure. The overall test for trend is not statistically significant."

Putchildrenfirst flat-out lied to you, but since you refuse to read the transcript they were able to deceive you again.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

3. Hep B vaccine.

“a ridiculous, unnecessary hep-B vax the day she was born”

What is ridiculous is believing the anti-vaccs.

Question:how you know what the Hep B risks are for US infants?

Answer:you would go out and test infants for Hep B.

We literally have decades of testing US infants and guess what?The risks are actually pretty high.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11694691

Pre-vaccine 16,000 US young kids/infants per year were infected with Hep Bplus perinatal infections….

Once again the anti-vaccs don’t care about the health of 10,000’s of US young kids per year….just mindless criticisms of vaccines with out any regard to the facts or morality.

W&N