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Sunday, October 15, 2023

Brain Inflammation

A release from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM):
Severe inflammation in early childhood is a clinically known risk factor for developing autism and schizophrenia. Now, for the first time, scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have discovered that inflammation alters the development of vulnerable brain cells, and this could have mechanistic links to neurodevelopmental disorders. This finding could lead to treatments for many different childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorders.

Using single-cell genomics to study the brains of children who died from inflammatory conditions—such as a bacterial or viral infections or asthma—along with those who died from a sudden accident, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) led a study that found inflammation in early childhood prevents specific neurons in the cerebellum from maturing completely. The cerebellum is a brain region responsible for motor control and higher cognitive functions used in language, social skills, and emotional regulation.

Faculty from UMSOM’s Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), Department of Pharmacology, and the University of Maryland-Medicine Institute of Neuroscience Discovery (UM-MIND) conducted the research. The study appears in the October issue of Science Translational Medicine. It is part of a collection of nearly 30 papers describing the development and diversity of cell types in the human brain. All of these studies were coordinated by the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Cell Census Network, a multisite consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Brain inflammation is just one of a very long and growing list of other correlatesrisk factors, and possible causes that have been the subject of serious studies:

  1. Inflammatory bowel disease;
  2. Pesticides;
  3. Air pollution and proximity to freeways;
  4. Maternal thyroid issues;
  5. Autoimmune disorders;
  6. Induced labor;
  7. Preterm birth;
  8. Fever;  
  9. Birth by cesarean section;
  10. Anesthesia during cesarean sections;
  11. Maternal and paternal obesity;
  12. Maternal diabetes;
  13. Maternal and paternal age;
  14. Grandparental age;
  15. Maternal post-traumatic stress disorder;
  16. Maternal anorexia;
  17. Smoking during pregnancy;
  18. Cannabis use during pregnancy;
  19. Antidepressant use during pregnancy;
  20. Polycystic ovary syndrome;
  21. Infant opioid withdrawal;
  22. Zinc deficiency;
  23. Sulfate deficiency;
  24. Processed foods;
  25. Maternal occupational exposure to solvents;
  26. Congenital heart disease;
  27. Insufficient placental allopregnanolone.
  28. Estrogen in the womb;
  29. Morning sickness;
  30. Paternal family history;
  31. Parental preterm birth;
  32. Antiseizure meds
  33. Location of forebears
  34. Lithium
  35. Aspartame
  36. BPA