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Neuroimmunology of Autism Spectrum Disorder

aa David Marc, B.Sc. , & Kelly Olson Ph.D .

Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by immunological and neurological abnormalities. The role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of autism has been researched suggesting a relationship with altered blood-brain barrier permeability and subsequent neuroinflammation. Cytokine recruitment to the CNS may result in altered neurotransmitter signaling and the behavioral manifestation of autism symptoms. Other immune mediated events such as changes in the number and activity of natural killer cells, macrophages, immunoglobulins, and glutathione may contribute to altered neuronal signaling and neurotransmitter imbalances. The purpose of this overview is to examine the relationship between immune system and nervous system dysfunction to determine biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder. We will explore the utility of serum cytokines and urinary neurotransmitter analyses as biomarkers for autism.

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