A recent study that highlights maternal allergies has recently found another piece to the hefty puzzle that aims to prove that inflammatory and immune responses can potentially influence cognition and behavior. An assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University and study's lead author Kathryn Lenz has recently presented their evidence at Neuroscience 2016 in San Diego, CA.
How Did They Come Up To This Conclusion?
According to reports released by Medical News Today, Lenz and her team had allegedly sensitized female rats to an egg white protein, ovalbumin, and prior to them becoming pregnant. Fifteen days into the pregnancy, it was found that the rats were presented with the allergen to trigger an immune response. The team has emphasized that the levels and types of immune cells in the rat's developing brains were measured.
Furthermore, the team has allegedly found that the rats whose mothers had been exposed to an allergen were noted for having an increase in certain immune cells in the brain known as mast cells. Experts have also revealed that these differences were the same and present in both sexes.
In one of their findings reported by The Sun, the study has also shown that those who have survived into adulthood had showed signs of autism, hyperactivity and antisocial behavior. In the meeting at the Society for Neuroscience, Professor Lenz explains that their findings could potentially serve as evidence that prenatal exposure to allergens is more likely seen to alter brain development and function as well as lead to other neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism.
The team has also highly emphasized that further studies will enable them to flesh out their initial findings as they will be considered as additional knowledge to the current discoveries. Considering that the connection between immune system and cognitive deficits is already concrete, experts said that the challenge will be as to how this knowledge can be converted into treatments and prevention.