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Editorial
January 19, 2021

More Evidence Linking Autoimmune Diseases to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1The National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • 2iPSYCH–The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, Aarhus, Denmark
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(3):e205502. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5502

The evidence for bidirectional links between the immune system and the central nervous system has accumulated over the last few decades. One important area within this field of research is the association between maternal autoimmune diseases and mental disorders. Several previous epidemiologic studies have found autoimmune diseases to be associated with mental disorders, with the largest evidence base being for associations with schizophrenia,1 bipolar disorder,2 depression,3 and autism spectrum disorder,4 and much fewer studies having examined associations with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),5 tic disorders,6 and obsessive-compulsive disorder.7 Multiple potential mechanisms have been proposed for the association between maternal autoimmune diseases and mental disorders,8 and the article by Nielsen et al9 sums up the literature on this. Overall, these mechanisms are thought to include shared genetic and environmental risk factors or direct effects of maternal autoantibodies or cytokines crossing the placenta and altering the fetal immune response, which in turns leads to changes in the central nervous system.

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    1 Comment for this article
    Makes sense to me
    Jennifer Ardoin, Makes sense to me actuall |
    My kids have adhd and I wondered if I had it and passed it to them but I don't have it but I do have an immune system deficiency and anemia and antibiotics resistance so all my issues could have gave them adhd that's a explains some of it to me thank u
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
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