Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Early biologic markers for autism  

Proteins of the maternal immune system during pregnancy may be able to affect the development of the fetal brain, as these proteins can cross the placenta and enter fetal tissues. Preliminary results have provided evidence that elevated levels of certain immune system proteins in the blood of pregnant women may be associated with an increased risk of autism in their children. These researchers will extend their preliminary data by conducting a large controlled study on the association between levels of autoantibodies and cytokines in maternal blood samples during mid-pregnancy with the associated risks of autism and mental retardation in the offspring. 1200 mother-child pairs will be included in this study, as well as 200 siblings of autistic and mentally retarded children. These data will determine whether inappropriate activation of the immune system during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental problems. The results from this study should contribute to the understanding of the impact of the maternal environment on fetal development and its contribution to autism. It may also provide new, early tests for an increased risk of autism. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $43,308.00
Current Award Period 2008-2010
Project Number 2514
Principal Investigator Croen, Lisa
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Immune/Metabolic Pathways
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Early biologic markers for autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Early biologic markers for autism | $60,000.00 | 2008 | 2514
Early biologic markers for autism | $60,000.00 | 2009 | 2514