Evaluation of immunological indices related to gluten sensitivity and the prevalence of inherited immunoglobulin type A deficiency in patients with Autism Spectrum disorders in Tabriz
Background: The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that include the more specific diagnoses of autism, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified. The defining features of ASD include impairments in social interaction, communication, imagination, restricted interests, and stereotypic behaviors. Immunological dysfunction is a recognized feature in ASD. The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genes are among the strongest predictors of risk for autoimmune conditions and are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and ASD. Over the past years, several studies have been accomplished to identify the association between ASD and Gluten, in order to determine the sensitivity of antigens involved in immune response and also their pathogenic connection with ASD. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the immunological indices related to Gluten sensitivity and the prevalence of inherited Immunoglobulin type A deficiency in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Tabriz. Methods: The present cross-sectional study was performed over 80 subjects diagnosed with ASD, ages 4-16. After convenient and accessible sampling and considering inclusion and exclusion criteria, patients enterred the research. Written informed consent was obtained and a demographic questionnaire was completed by interviewing parents. Fasting Blood samples were obtained and immunological measure consisting of IgA, tTG IgA, tTGIgG and EMAIgG were analyzed. Results: The average age of children was 7.90±3.35 (58 boys and 22 girls). The mean IgA in this study was 104.28±49.93 mg/dl. 9 patients were identified with IgA deficiency. The tTGIgA of 9 individuals was above 12 U/ml and 2 patients were in borderline (8-12 U/ml). tTGIgG and EMAIgG were not positive for any of the patients with IgA deficiency. Conclusion: Inherited deficiency of the immune system may prevent the patient from clearing a pathogen in a timely and normal fashion, placing the patient at higher risk for the pathogen to interfere with brain development and triggering an autoimmune response resulting in the symptoms of ASD. According to the results obtained from this research, there were immunity dysfunctions in children with ASD and therefore raises the importance of providing suitable strategies to support their immune system.