Elevated protein concentrations in newborn blood and the risks of autism spectrum disorder, and of social impairment, at age 10 years among infants born before the 28th week of gestation

Steven J Korzeniewski, Elizabeth N Allred, T Michael O’Shea, Alan Leviton, Karl C K Kuban, ELGAN study investigators

Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 8;8(1):115.

PubMed Link

ASD (N = 36) assessed at age 10 years is associated with recurrent top quartile concentrations of inflammation-related proteins during the first post-natal month (e.g., SAA odds ratio (OR); 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.5; 1.2-5.3) and IL-6 (OR; 95% CI: 2.6; 1.03-6.4)). Top quartile concentrations of neurotrophic proteins appear to moderate the increased risk of ASD associated with repeated top quartile concentrations of inflammation-related proteins. High (top quartile) concentrations of SAA are associated with elevated risk of ASD (2.8; 1.2-6.7) when Ang-1 concentrations are below the top quartile, but not when Ang-1 concentrations are high (1.3; 0.3-5.8). Similarly, high concentrations of TNF-α are associated with heightened risk of SRS-defined social impairment (N = 130) (2.0; 1.1-3.8) when ANG-1 concentrations are not high, but not when ANG-1 concentrations are elevated (0.5; 0.1-4.2).