Folate receptor autoantibodies are prevalent in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, their normal siblings and parents

Edward V. Quadros, Jeffrey M. Sequeira, W. Ted Brown, Clifford Mevs, Elaine Marchi, Michael Flory, Edmund C. Jenkins, Milen T. Velinov, Ira L. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Folate deficiency can affect fetal and neonatal brain development Considering the reported association of Folate receptor alpha (FRα) autoantibodies (Abs) with autism and developmental disorders, we sought to confirm this in families of 82 children with ASD, 53 unaffected siblings, 65 fathers, and 70 mothers, along with 52 unrelated normal controls. Overall, 76% of the affected children, 75% of the unaffected siblings, 69% of fathers and 59% of mothers were positive for either blocking or binding Ab, whereas the prevalence of this Ab in the normal controls was 29%. The Ab was highly prevalent in affected families including unaffected siblings. The appearance of these antibodies may have a familial origin but the risk of developing ASD is likely influenced by other mitigating factors since some siblings who had the antibodies were not affected. The antibody response appears heritable with the blocking autoantibody in the parents and affected child increasing the risk of ASD. Autism Res 2018, 11: 707–712.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-712
Number of pages6
JournalAutism Research
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • autism
  • autoantibodies
  • folate receptor

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