Neural development disrupted by viral infection, leading to increased autism risks

Researchers with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurology discovered that newborn babies can be born with autism or schizophrenia, caused by maternal viral infection.

The study was conducted in mice and McAllister concluded that “these results indicate that maternal immune activation does indeed alter connectivity during prenatal development, causing a profound deficit in the ability of cortical neurons to form synapses that is caused by changes in levels of MHCI on the neuron”.

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