Skip to main content
Log in

Familial Autoimmune Thyroid Disease as a Risk Factor for Regression in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A CPEA Study

  • Published:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

A multicenter study of 308 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was conducted through the Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism (CPEA), sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, to compare the family history of autoimmune disorders in children with ASD with and without a history of regression. A history of regression was determined from the results of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). Family history of autoimmune disorders was obtained by telephone interview. Regression was significantly associated with a family history of autoimmune disorders (adjusted OR=1.89; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.10). The only specific autoimmune disorder found to be associated with regression was autoimmune thyroid disease (adjusted OR=2.09; 95% CI: 1.28, 3.41).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Abbreviations

CPEA:

Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism

NICHD:

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

NIDCD:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

ADI-R:

Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised

ADOS:

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

ASD:

Autism Spectrum Disorder

PDD-NOS:

Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified

AITD:

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

References

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association

  • Bradford Y., Haines J., Hutcheson H., Gardiner M., Braun T., Sheffield V., Cassavant T., Huang W., Wang K., Vieland V., Folstein S., Santangelo S., Piven J., (2001). Incorporating language phenotypes strengthens evidence of linkage to autism American Journal of Medical Genetics 105(6): 539–547

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Broadley S. A., Deans J., Sawcer S. J., Clayton D., Compston D. A., (2000). Autoimmune disease in first-degree relatives of patients with multiple sclerosis A UK survey Brain 123(Pt 6): 1102–1111

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Brown J., Prelock P. A., (1995). Brief report: The impact of regression on language development in autism Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 25(3): 305–309

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Burack J. A., Volkmar F. R., (1992). Development of low- and high-functioning autistic children Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 33(3): 607–616

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Comi A. M., Zimmerman A. W., Frye V. H., Law P. A., Peeden J. N., (1999). Familial clustering of autoimmune disorders and evaluation of medical risk factors in autism Journal of Child Neurololgy 14(6): 388–394

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Connolly A. M., Chez M. G., Pestronk A., Arnold S. T., Mehta S., Deuel R. K., (1999). Serum autoantibodies to brain in Landau-Kleffner variant, autism, and other neurologic disorders Journal of Pediatrics 134(5): 607–613

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Croen, L. A., Yoshida, C. K., Odouli, R., & Grether, J. K. (2004) Maternal autoimmune and allergic diseases and childhood autism. Presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Sacramento, CA. May 7–8

  • Croonenberghs J., Bosmans E., Deboutte D., Kenis G., Maes M., (2002a). Activation of the inflammatory response system in autism Neuropsychobiology 45(1): 1–6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Croonenberghs J., Wauters A., Devreese K., Verkerk R., Scharpe S., Bosmans E., Egyed B., Deboutte D., Maes M., (2002b) Increased serum albumin, ( globulin, immunoglobulin IgG, and IgG2 and IgG4 in autism Psychological Medicine 32: 1457–1463

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davidovitch M., Glick L., Holtzman G., Tirosh E., Safir M. P., (2000). Developmental regression in autism: Maternal perception Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 30(2): 113–119

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fombonne E., (1999). The epidemiology of autism: A review Psychological Medicine 29: 769–786

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fombonne E., Chakrabarti S., (2001). No evidence for a new variant of measles-mumps-rubella-induced autism Pediatrics 108(4): E58

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ginn L.R., Lin J.P., Plotz P.H., Bale S.J., Wilder R.L., Mbauya A., Miller F.W., (1998) Familial autoimmunity in pedigrees of idiopathic inflammatory myopathy patients suggests common genetic risk factors for many autoimmune diseases Arthritis and Rheumatism 41(3): 400–405

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goldberg W., Osann K., Filipek P., Laulhere T., Jarvis K., Modahl C., Flodman P., Spense M., (2003). Language and other regression: Assessment and timing Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 33: 607–616

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gupta S., Aggarwal S., Heads C., (1996) Dysregulated immune system in children with autism: Beneficial effects of intravenous immune globulin on autistic characteristics Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 26: 439–452

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gupta S., Aggarwal S., Rashanravan B., Lee T., (1998). Th1- and Th2-like cytokines in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in autism Journal of Neuroimmunology 85(1): 106–109

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jyonouchi H., Sun S., Itokazu N., (2002). Innate immunity associated with inflammatory responses and cytokine production against common dietary proteins in patients with autism spectrum disorder Neuropsychobiology 46(2): 76–84

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jyonouchi H., Sun S., Le H., (2001). Proinflammatory and regulatory cytokine production associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental regression Journal of Neuroimmunology 120(1–2): 170–179

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kobayashi R., Murata T., (1998). Setback phenomenon in autism and long-term prognosis Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 98(4): 296–303

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kurita H., Kita M., Miyake Y., (1992). A comparative study of development and symptoms among disintegrative psychosis and infantile autism with and without speech loss Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 22(2): 175–188

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lord C., Risi S., Lambrecht L., Cook E. H. Jr., Leventhal B. L., DiLavore P. C., Pickles A., Rutter M., (2000). The autism diagnostic observation schedule-generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 30(3): 205–223

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lord C., Rutter M., Le Couteur A., (1994). Autism diagnostic interview-revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 24(5): 659–685

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lord C., Shulman C., DiLavore P., (2004). Regression and word loss in autism spectrum disorder Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45(5): 936–955

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lucarelli S., Frediani T., Zingoni A. M., Ferruzzi F., Giardini O., Quintieri F., Barbato M., D’Eufemia P., Cardi E., (1995) Food allery and infantile autism Panminerva Medicine 37(3): 137–141

    Google Scholar 

  • Luyster, R., Richler, J., Risi, S., Hsu, W. L., Dawson, G., Bernier, R., Dunn, M., Hepburn, S., Hyman, S. L., McMahon, W. M., Goudie-Nice, J., Minshew, N., Rogers, S., Sigman, M., Spence, M. A., Goldberg, W. A., Tager-Flusberg, H., Volkmar, F. R., Lord, C. (2005). Early regression in social communication in autism spectrum disorders: A CPEA study. Developmental Neuropsychology 27(3): 311–336

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Miles J. H., Hillman R. E., (2000). Value of a clinical morphology examination in autism American Journal of Medical Genetics 91(4): 245–253

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Payami H., Joe S., Thomson G., (1989). Autoimmune thyroid disease in type I diabetic families Genetic Epidemiology 6(1): 137–141

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Prahalad S., Shear E. S., Thompson S. D., Giannini E. H., Glass D. N., (2002). Increased prevalence of familial autoimmunity in simplex and multiplex families with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis Arthritis & Rheumatism 46(7): 1851–1856

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rapin I., Katzman R., (1998). Neurobiology of autism Annals of Neurology 43(1): 7–14

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Richler, J., Luyster, R., Risi, S., Hsu, W., Dawson, G., Bernier, R., Dunn, M., Hyman, S., McMahon, W., Goudie, J., Minshew, N., Rogers, S., Sigman, M., Spence, M., Tager-Flusberg, H., Volkmar, F., & Lord, C. (2004). Is there a regressive “phenotype” of Autism Spectrum Disorder associated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine: A CPEA Study. Presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Sacramento, CA. May 7–8, 2004

  • Shinnar S., Rapin I., Arnold S., Tuchman R. F., Shulman L., Ballaban-Gil K., Maw M., Deuel R. K., Volkmar F. R., (2001). Language regression in childhood Pediatric Neurology 24(3): 183–189

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Singh V. K., (1996). Plasma increase of interleukin-12 and interferon-gamma Pathological significance in autism Journal of Neuroimmunology 66(1–2): 143–145

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, V. K., Warren, R., Averett, R., & Ghaziuddin, M. (1997). Circulating autoantibodies to neuronal and glial filamentproteins in autism. Pediatric Neurology 17, 88–90

    Google Scholar 

  • Siperstein, R., & Volkmar, F. (2004). Parental reporting of regression in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(6): 731–734

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sweeten T. L., Bowyer S. L., Posey D. J., Halberstadt G. M., McDougle C. J., (2003). Increased prevalence of familial autoimmunity in probands with pervasive developmental disorders Pediatrics 112(5): e420

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tager-Flusberg H., Joseph R. M., (2003). Identifying neurocognitive phenotypes in autism Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences 358(1430): 303–314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tanguay P. E., (2000). Pervasive developmental disorders: a 10-year review Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 39(9): 1079–1095

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Vaidya B., Kendall-Taylor P., Pearce S. H., (2002). The genetics of autoimmune thyroid disease Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 87(12): 5385–5397

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • van Gent T., Heijnen C. J., Treffers P. D., (1997). Autism and the immune system Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 38(3): 337–349

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Walker D. J., Griffiths M., Griffiths I. D., (1986). Occurrence of autoimmune diseases and autoantibodies in multicase rheumatoid arthritis families Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 45(4): 323–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Warren R. P., Foster A., Margaretten N. C., (1987). Reduced natural killer cell activity in autism Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 26(3): 333–335

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Yeargin-Allsopp M., Rice C., Karapurkar T., Doernberg N., Boyle C., Murphy C., (2003). Prevalence of autism in a US metropolitan area Journal of the American Medical Association 289(1): 49–55

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the patients and families at all the CPEA sites who participated in this research. We thank Dr. Mekibib Altaye for his critical review of the statistical analyses. We also thank Dr. Thayne Sweeten for his thoughtful reading and comments on the manuscript and Deb Anderson for her assistance in data management.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cynthia A. Molloy.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Molloy, C.A., Morrow, A.L., Meinzen-Derr, J. et al. Familial Autoimmune Thyroid Disease as a Risk Factor for Regression in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A CPEA Study. J Autism Dev Disord 36, 317–324 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-005-0071-0

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-005-0071-0

Keywords

Navigation