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J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Aug 15;261(1-2):77-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2013.04.003. Epub 2013 May 29.

The possible relationship between allergic manifestations and elevated serum levels of brain specific auto-antibodies in autistic children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


Etiology of autism has become an area of a significant controversy. Allergy induced autism is an area of research wherein immune responses to some allergens may play a pathogenic role in autism. Allergy may induce the production of brain specific auto-antibodies in a subgroup of autistic children. We are the first to investigate the possible link between allergic manifestations and serum levels of both anti-myelin basic protein (anti-MBP) and anti-myelin associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG) brain-specific auto-antibodies, which were measured by ELISA method, in 42 autistic children in comparison to 42 healthy-matched children. Allergic manifestations (bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis and/or allergic rhinitis) were found in 47.6% of autistic patients. Increased serum levels of anti-MBP and anti-MAG auto-antibodies were found in 57.1% and 66.7%, respectively of autistic children. In addition, 78.5% of autistic children had increased serum levels of both anti-MBP and/or anti-MAG auto-antibodies. Autistic patients with allergic manifestations had significantly higher serum levels of anti-MBP and anti-MAG auto-antibodies than those without these manifestations (P<0.001 and P=0.001, respectively). In conclusion, allergy may be a contributing factor to the increased serum levels of anti-MBP and anti-MAG auto-antibodies in some autistic children. Indeed, we need to know more about the links between allergy, immune system and brain in autism for finding new therapeutic modalities in autism.


Allergy; Anti-myelin associated glycoprotein antibodies; Anti-myelin basic protein antibodies; Autism; Autoimmunity

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