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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Autism

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss various ideas about what causes the condition

 Aws Sadik and colleagues have an article in Nature Medicine titled "Parental inflammatory bowel disease and autism in children."  The abstract:

Evidence linking parental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with autism in children is inconclusive. We conducted four complementary studies to investigate associations between parental IBD and autism in children, and elucidated their underlying etiology. Conducting a nationwide population-based cohort study using Swedish registers, we found evidence of associations between parental diagnoses of IBD and autism in children. Polygenic risk score analyses of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children suggested associations between maternal genetic liability to IBD and autistic traits in children. Two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses provided evidence of a potential causal effect of genetic liability to IBD, especially ulcerative colitis, on autism. Linkage disequilibrium score regression did not indicate a genetic correlation between IBD and autism. Triangulating evidence from these four complementary approaches, we found evidence of a potential causal link between parental, particularly maternal, IBD and autism in children. Perinatal immune dysregulation, micronutrient malabsorption and anemia may be implicated.

IBD  joins a growing list of correlatesrisk factors, and possible causes that have been the subject of serious studies:

  • Acetaminophen;
  • Pesticides;
  • Air pollution and proximity to freeways;
  • Maternal thyroid issues;
  • Autoimmune disorders;
  • Induced labor;
  • Preterm birth;
  • Fever;  
  • Birth by cesarean section;
  • Anesthesia during cesarean sections;
  • Maternal and paternal obesity;
  • Maternal diabetes;
  • Maternal and paternal age;
  • Grandparental age;
  • Maternal post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Maternal anorexia;
  • Smoking during pregnancy;
  • Cannabis use during pregnancy;
  • Antidepressant use during pregnancy;
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome;
  • Infant opioid withdrawal;
  • Zinc deficiency;
  • Sulfate deficiency;
  • Processed foods;
  • Maternal occupational exposure to solvents;
  • Congenital heart disease;
  • Insufficient placental allopregnanolone.
  • Estrogen in the womb;
  • Morning sickness;
  • Paternal family history;
  • Parental preterm birth;
  • Antiseizure meds