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Maternal Anti-Fetal Brain IgG Autoantibodies and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Current Knowledge and its Implications for Potential Therapeutics


Several studies have found a correlation between the presence of circulating maternal autoantibodies and neuronal dysfunction in the neonate. Specifically, maternal anti-brain autoantibodies, which may access the fetal compartment during gestation, have been identified as one risk factor for developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies by our laboratory elucidated seven neurodevelopmental proteins recognized by maternal autoantibodies whose presence is associated with a diagnosis of maternal autoantibody-related (MAR) autism in the child. While the specific process of anti-brain autoantibody generation is unclear and the detailed pathogenic mechanisms are currently unknown, identification of the maternal autoantibody targets increases the therapeutic possibilities. The potential therapies discussed in this review provide a framework for possible future medical interventions.

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