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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Aug;16(8):498-505. doi: 10.1038/nrn3956. Epub 2015 Jul 8.

Is birth a critical period in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders?

Author information

1
INMED, INSERM U901, Neurochlore and Aix-Marseille University, Campus scientifique de Luminy, 163 route de Luminy, Marseille 13273 cedex 09, France.

Abstract

Birth is associated with a neuroprotective, oxytocin-mediated abrupt excitatory-to-inhibitory GABA shift that is abolished in autism, and its restoration attenuates the disorder in offspring. In this Opinion article, I discuss the links between birth-related stressful mechanisms, persistent excitatory GABA actions, perturbed network oscillations and autism. I propose that birth (parturition) is a critical period that confirms, attenuates or aggravates the deleterious effects of intrauterine genetic or environmental insults.

PMID:
26152864
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3956
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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