The Role Of Neuro-Inflammation In A Rat Model Of Comorbid Epilepsy And Autism
Thirty percent of children with epilepsy also have autism and vice versa. Dr. Barth’s group has recently discovered that suspected environmental risk factors for autism, such as maternal stress and certain common prenatal drugs, only when combined, produce autism and epilepsy in offspring. These combinations also result in marked brain inflammation, a reaction of the immune system thought to contribute to both epilepsy and autism. They developed a rat model of epilepsy/autism to study the effects of combined environmental inflammatory factors, to establish human maternal guidelines and to explore anti-inflammatory strategies to prevent or reduce this severe neurological syndrome.