An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism

December 19, 2012 3:46:20 PM PST

In recent years, scientists have made extraordinary advances in understanding the causes of autism, now estimated to afflict 1 in 88 children. But remarkably little of this understanding has percolated into popular awareness, which often remains fixated on vaccines.

So here’s the short of it: At least a subset of autism — perhaps one-third, and very likely more — looks like a type of inflammatory disease. And it begins in the womb.

It starts with what scientists call immune dysregulation. Ideally, your immune system should operate like an enlightened action hero, meting out inflammation precisely, accurately and with deadly force when necessary, but then quickly returning to a Zen-like calm. Doing so requires an optimal balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory muscle.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

A new study published Thursday in The Journal of Immunology suggests that magnesium sulfate, used to treat preeclampsia in preterm labor, may also decrease inflammation and become a therapy for inflammatory diseases.

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Posted in General Health By Terri Mykland