Iffy immunity: New data muddy the relationship between an inflammatory molecule in pregnant women and their chances of having a child with autism.
Women who develop infections during pregnancy run an increased risk of having a child with autism. Most data indicate that an overactive maternal immune response underlies the risk.
But a new analysis runs contrary to this view: It ties high levels of an inflammatory protein in pregnant women to a low risk of autism in their children, suggesting that a strong immune response is protective1.
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