Brain inflammation common In autism

There are too many factors and combinations of genetic traits to have any definitive cause of autism today, along with a wide range of diagnoses that add to the pool, but a new analysis has found that the autopsied brains of people who had autism share a pattern of ramped-up immune responses.

The causes of autism, also known as autistic spectrum disorder, remain largely unknown and are a frequent research topic for geneticists and neuroscientists. The authors of a new paper note that for autism, studies of whether and how much genes were being used - known as gene expression - had thus far involved too little data to draw many useful conclusions. That's because unlike a genetic test, which can be done using nearly any cells in the body, gene expression testing has to be performed on the specific tissue of interest; in this case, brains that could only be obtained through autopsies.

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10th December 2014
Science 2.0