Parental Autoimmune Diseases Associated With Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring

Department of aEpidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435, USA.
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) (Impact Factor: 6.2). 11/2010; 21(6):805-8. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181f26e3f
Source: PubMed


Autism spectrum disorders are often idiopathic. Studies have suggested associations between immune response and these disorders. We explored associations between parental autoimmune disorders and children's diagnosis of autism by linking Swedish registries.
Data for each participant were linked across 3 Swedish registries. The study includes 1227 cases and 25 matched controls for each case (30,693 controls with parental linkage). Parental diagnoses comprised 19 autoimmune disorders. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) using multivariable conditional logistic regression.
Parental autoimmune disorder was weakly associated with autism spectrum disorders in offspring (maternal OR = 1.6 [95% confidence interval = 1.1-2.2]; paternal OR = 1.4 [1.0-2.0]). Several maternal autoimmune diseases were correlated with autism. For both parents, rheumatic fever was associated with autism spectrum disorders.
These data support previously reported associations between parental autoimmune disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Parental autoimmune disorders may represent a critical pathway that warrants more detailed investigation.

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Available from: Pär Sparén, Feb 18, 2014
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    • "Fourth, T1DM is an autoimmune disorder resulting from a cellularmediated autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta-cells (American Diabetes Association 2013). Maternal altered autoimmunity may influence brain development in the offspring either by creating a hostile intrauterine environment or by modifying the offspring's autoimmunity in early development through immunoglobulin G (Keil et al. 2010). Fifth, epigenetic modification by hyperglycemia (Fernandez-Morera et al. 2010; Schanen 2006) may also be implicated in the pathogenesis of ASD, but the current evidence is still sparse. "
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    • "This was first documented in case reports [20] and later confirmed in comprehensive epidemiological studies for approximately 40% of children with autism [21] [22]. In particular an association with autoimmune thyroiditis or hypothyroidism [23], rheumatic fever [24], rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, family history of type 1 diabetes has been found [22] [25]. Some have suggested that these findings support further research into the possibility of an autoimmune component in ASD because, in general, in autoimmune diseases there is a higher prevalence of a family history of autoimmune disease. "
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