Beni Gesundheit, David Naor, Josh Rosenzweig, Michal Melamed
While the characteristic behavior in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) was described by Leo Kanner over seventy years ago, understanding the underlying pathology remains elusive. Epidemiological, serological, immunogenetic, and radiological evidence increasingly point to an immune etiology in at least a subset of children with ASD, but estimates of exactly what percent of ASD that might represent are still speculative. Clarifying the immune mechanisms can potentially improve diagnostic tools and identify therapeutic targets for immune modulating therapies. With updated data in 2014 from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showing a rise to 1.5% of the U.S. population, representing a 30% increase since 2012, and no FDA approved treatments, there is great urgency to increase our understanding of the condition. A multicenter study investigating the immune profile of children with ASD is currently underway and is actively recruiting with hopes of uncovering the biological basis of behavior paving the way for improved diagnostic and treatment options.