Ultrasound and Autism: How Disrupted Redox Homeostasis and Transient Membrane Porosity Confer Risk



Autism is a group of heterogenetic conditions, comprised of syndromic and nonsyndromic phenotypes. Its heterogeneity has challenged scientists for decades in the attempt to delimit its etiological origins. In this search, focus has fallen heavily on genetics, although a growing body of research suggests a large portion of cases may have a more complex etiology than genetics can explain. Therefore, greater attention is being paid to epigenetic effectors which may play roles in the development of autism. One such teratogen is prenatal ultrasound. In this chapter, we review the current modes of use and recent deregulations surrounding ultrasound, the primary and secondary bioeffects following exposure, its relevance to the development of the brain as well as to autism, the plasticity of the biological organism and how two separate effectors can lead to a common phenotype, and our hopes for future research in this area.



Activator protein 1


Activated protein C


Adenosine triphosphate


Cyclic adenosine monophosphate


Cyclic guanosine monophosphate


cAMP response element


cAMP response element binding protein


Cerebrospinal fluid


Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase


United States Food and Drug Administration


Fibroblast growth factor


Guanosine monophosphate


Glycogen synthase kinase 3β


Histone acetyltransferases


Histone deacetylase


Irreducible nitric oxide synthase


c-Jun N-terminal kinase


Lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein 1


Lymphoid enhancer factor


Lipoprotein receptor-related protein


Long-term potentiation


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Nuclear factor κB




Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate


Phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate


Protein kinase A


Protein kinase C


Phosphatase and tensin homologue




Reactive oxygen species


T cell factor




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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomical Sciences and NeurobiologyUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA

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