The paper by Lisa Croen and colleagues  provides the brief blogging fodder today and some further results from the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) initiative based in the United States. Whilst SEED has already produced quite a bit of peer-reviewed research data (see here), this time around the focus was on "the role of family history of autoimmune diseases, asthma, and allergies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as other developmental disorders (DD)." Yep, immune function yet again (see here).
Researchers mention how following their analysis of some 660 children with ASD, nearly a thousand children with DD and over 900 not-autism, not-DD population (POP) controls, they turned up some potentially important *associations* pertinent to immune system related conditions potentially elevating the risk of autism and/or DD. So: "Maternal history of eczema/psoriasis and asthma was associated with a 20%-40% increased odds of both ASD and DD" and "children with ASD were more likely to have a history of psoriasis/eczema or allergies than POP controls." Conversely, they did not detect any statistically significant associations between "paternal history or family history of these immune conditions for either ASD or DD."
I'm gonna leave things there for now on this topic. The immune system seems to be related to at least 'some' autism. There's nothing particularly new or novel about that sentiment but it does cover an awful lot of ground. A lot more research is required on the 'hows-and-whys' (see here for one example research route) and whether intervening on various immune system related conditions, one *might* also impact on the presentation of behaviour too...
And on the topic of intervention, may I also draw your attention to the mammoth paper by Marchezan and colleagues  reviewing the many and varied (evidence-based) intervention methods that are available as and when immune system issues crop up in the context of autism?
 Croen LA. et al. Family history of immune conditions and autism spectrum and developmental disorders: Findings from the study to explore early development. Autism Res. 2018 Aug 10.
 Marchezan J. et al. Immunological Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Potential Target for Therapy. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2018. Sept 5.