A study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation indicates that the chemokine monocyte chemotactic protein-1(MCP-1) may represent an early marker for ASD.
Immune dysregulation and markers of inflammation have been associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Yet, most of the prior studies have used specimens taken after clinical diagnosis, and even with the relatively high prevalence, currently there are no definitive predictive or diagnostic markers for ASD.
In the Journal of Neuroinflammation study Ousseny Zerbo and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the University of California at Davis, CA measured cytokine and chemokine concentrations in archived neonatal blood specimens maintained by the California Department of Public Health, and from the Early Markers for Autism (EMA) population-based, nested case-control study. Newborn blood specimens were obtained by the heel-stick method, usually within 24 to 48 hours of birth.
The researchers found elevated levels of MCP-1 and decreased levels of RANTES in the newborn blood of children subsequently diagnosed with ASD.
Thus, if replicated in future studies, these observations may indicate that cytokine/chemokine profiling and immune system’s assessment in the first few days of life may help in the early identification of particular neurodevelopmental trajectories.