General, Research, Technology

Why do autism symptoms worsen with flu?

Autism is a common type.pathological conditions of the nervous system. The disease often manifests itself at an early age and has multiple manifestations in the behavior and reactions of the child. At the same time, many parents who have a child with autism in the family note changes in the child’s behavioral characteristics at a time when his temperature rises. This phenomenon was interested in a group of scientists who showed a scientific interest in such an unusual issue and decided to conduct a new study in order to confirm the existence of a connection between immunity and its interaction on the brain during a temperature increase.

Influenza May Reduce Autism Symptoms

Can influenza affect autism?

Until recently, the link between infectiousfever and its effect on behavioral symptoms in children with autism was considered impossible. However, according to an article published in, a study in 2017 involving more than 2,100 children showed that 17% of them showed improved behavioral symptoms during fever. To confirm the unusual theory, the researchers conducted a similar experiment in mice that showed behavioral symptoms of autism. By introducing a bacterial component into the animal’s body and causing a febrile state, scientists also revealed improvements in their social interaction. In addition, the researchers revealed some features of molecular interactions that occurred in the body of an infected animal. They were able to find that one type of immune system cell called IL-17a is released as a result of an emerging infection. As it turned out, they interact with the area of ​​the brain that is responsible for spatial orientation and is able to reduce neural activity. Thus, a decrease in activity in this part of the brain in patients with autism makes living organisms more sociable.

See also: Can dirty air cause autism?

A study in mice confirms the effect of the immune system on brain structures

Scientists suggest that the relationship between fever andautism can have a start since embryonic development. If the mother suffered a serious infectious disease during pregnancy, then the child has an increased chance of developing autistic behavioral symptoms. The culprit of this could be the very same immune cells of IL-17a, which at one time affected the brain of a developing fetus.

Thus, immune cells can have twoopposite effect. Studies have shown that a certain type of cells of the immune system stimulates nervous activity in the brain of an adult mouse and causes a decrease in the symptoms of autistic behavior, while at the same time increasing the possibility of autistic behavior in a developing fetus.

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Scientists still have to identifythe relationship between mouse autism and a similar state in humans, however, experts suggest that the study has great potential for discovering new possibilities for treating behavioral symptoms of autism and related neurological disorders.