I recently read an article on PubMed about a Chinese study regarding children born to mothers who have autoimmune thyroid disease. The study found that those children had much poorer social and cognitive functioning compared to those born to healthy mothers. Could this be a causitive factor for autism? My youngest son has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS and I have Hashimoto's disease and possible Hashitoxicosis. Have you seen any research or studies on the link between autoimmunity in women with autistic children?
It is likely related to maternal thyroid levels during early pregnancy - I have not seen data that would implicate the immune system itself, but autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, so it makes sense that this was the studied population. It is another reminder to have tight control of maternal thyroid status before/during pregnancy.
I have a child with high-functioning autism and I have hashitoxicosis. It is an interesting avenue to consider. It had occurred to me. It would interesting to see a study done explicitly on women with autoimmune disease in early pregnancy and the propensity of their offspring developing autism/PDD.
There is one study out on Ige and links to autism.
It appears to me that autism is multifactoral, with genetic propensities playing a large factor. For instance, I met someone in a class (unrelated to autism) a few years ago who also has a high functioning autistic child. She was adopted and went to search for her birth parents. When she found her birth father he, too, was autistic.
Whatever the potential causes though, there are effective constructive therapies to cope with it and that's where the focus goes for those of us whose children are already here.
Autoimmune diseases also have a genetic componnent, so perhaps it could be a factor, perhaps not.
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