Raised cytokines/ autism risk

Rach

2 Posts
Reply Posted on: Oct 27, 2012 at 3:25am
Hi Dr B

I've been reading the articles about raised cytokines in the placenta and maternal blood stream being a risk for autism for the child.

I am currently 19 weeks preg and have a son who has autism, so hence my particular interest.

I was taking 1mg of dexamethisone per day from week 4 to 13, and had intralipids at week 4,6,10 and 13, as I had high levels of cd 56 nkc (taken from a uterine biopsy) I've never had my cytokines measured. (I'm in Australia)

My question is
1) should I get my cytokines measured now and treated if high? (Or do you think the first trimester treatment should be sufficient)
2) what would that treatment consist of
3) exactly which cytokines should I be tested for if you think testing is necessary?

Thank you in advance
rachael

Dr. Braverman

2016 Posts
RE: Raised cytokines/ autism risk Posted on: Oct 27, 2012 at 6:22am
HI Rachael,

these are very good questions that we are trying to answer. Right now there does seem to be an "association" between elevated ctyokines(inflammatory) IL-6, TNF, INFgamma and autism, the thinking being that anything that elevates them such as infection(flu) , or some autoimmune syndromes can lead to cross placental transmission and activation of glial cells in the baby's brain which then begins to make its own inflammatory cytokines and this is one of the hypothesis for the development of autism.
We seem to be understanding now that this cross placental transmission does not occur in the third trimester, so if you have have on immune therapy for a good portion of the first trimester that should be half the battle.
I beleive IVIG would do a good job in those at risk when the cytokines remain elevated in the second trimester , with minimal risks. Cost of course is the issue for something at this point that is still "theory" , but one I am beginning to believe is correct.
With that understanding I might go ahead and measure your cytokine levels TNF, INFgamma are the easiest to get. IL-6 would be usefull as well, but not as easily attainable.
Dr. Jeffrey Braverman MD FACOG
Medical Director
Braverman Reproductive Immunology P.C.

Rach

2 Posts
Reply RE: Raised cytokines/ autism risk Posted on: Oct 28, 2012 at 3:26am
Thank you for your reply Dr B- I appreciate your thoughts.

I'm pretty sure I can get my hands on those 3 tests.
I understand what you say about ivig being expensive when used to treat something that is still just a theory. On the flip side, the cost of an ivig is way cheaper than raising an autistic child.....lets just hope my cytokines are under control.
Its interesting that I read that Vit D3 inhibits IFN gamma- there's also theory that low vit d in preg may contribute to autism risk too...maybe it's all tied into these cytokines.
rachael

Dr. Braverman

2016 Posts
RE: Raised cytokines/ autism risk Posted on: Oct 28, 2012 at 12:28pm
Yes, I see many roads leading to the same conclusion, inflammation , activated immune systems , auto immune disease strongly correlated wtih increased risk for autism. The good news is that this may give us the opportunity for realstic prevention.
Dr. Jeffrey Braverman MD FACOG
Medical Director
Braverman Reproductive Immunology P.C.