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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2010 May;6(3):397-411. doi: 10.1586/eci.10.18.

Autism spectrum disorders and allergy: observation from a pediatric allergy/immunology clinic.

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Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), 185 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ 07101, USA.


IgE-mediated allergic diseases (e.g., allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic asthma and food allergy) are prevalent (up to 30%) in the general population and are increasing in developed countries. In infants and young children, non-IgE-mediated food allergy is also prevalent. In addition to easily recognized organ-specific symptoms, allergic diseases can cause neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as irritability and hyperactivity, in otherwise healthy individuals. This is also likely to occur in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Moreover, the discomfort and pain associated with allergic diseases could aggravate behavioral symptoms in ASD children. Allergic conditions are easily treatable; however, ASD children may be underdiagnosed and/or undertreated for allergic and other common childhood diseases, in part due to their impaired communication skills. Practicing physicians should be aware of the potential impact of allergic diseases on behavioral symptoms and cognitive activity in ASD children. However, they also need to be aware that certain symptoms often attributed to 'allergy' by caregivers may not be immune mediated and should understand that behavioral symptoms can also be affected by many non-IgE-mediated causes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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