Altered immune function associated with neurophysiological abnormalities and executive function deficits in children with autism

Yvonne Ming Yee HAN, Mei-chun CHEUNG, Sophia L. SZE, Agnes Sui Yin CHAN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of lifelong developmental disorders characterized by poor social interaction with others, repetitive stereotyped behavior, and cognitive impairments including executive function. Although the cause of ASD is not well understood, increasing evidence suggests that the dysregulation of the immune system may play a role in the pathogenesis of ASD. Recent research has focused on the association between the immune system and the nervous system, reporting immunologic abnormalities and the detection of anti-CNS autoantibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of children with ASD. These studies suggest that such abnormalities may play a role in ASD by causing neuronal damage, which is reflected in disordered neural connectivity in the autistic brain and accounts for the selective cognitive and behavioral symptoms of the disorder. Indeed, increasing evidence supports the notion that the cognitive deficits in individuals with ASD are due to underlying brain abnormalities that affect neural networks across the brain in these individuals. Although it is largely unknown how immunological factors affect neural networks, a better understanding of the relationship among immunologic function, neurophysiology, and cognitive function in ASD is highly significant. Establishing these relationships would provide a foundation for future research into the casual mechanism and developmental course of ASD. In this chapter, research findings linking the altered immune function and cognitive deficits in children with ASD are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComprehensive guide to autism
EditorsVinood B. PATEL, Victor R. PREEDY, Colin R. MARTIN
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer
Pages1611-1625
ISBN (Electronic)9781461447887
ISBN (Print)9781461447870
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Citation

Han, Y. M. Y., Cheung, M.-c., Sze, S. L., & Chan, A. S. Y. (2014). Altered immune function associated with neurophysiological abnormalities and executive function deficits in children with autism. In V. B. Patel, V. R. Preedy, & C. R. Martin (Eds.), Comprehensive guide to autism (pp. 1611-1625). New York: Springer.

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Executive function
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Executive function deficit
  • Neural connectivity

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