Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorders Development

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by reduced social interactions, impaired communications, and stereotypic and repetitive behavior with different degrees of severity. The etiology of autism spectrum disorder is unknown, although the interaction of genetic and environmental factors is believed to play a fundamental role in the process. The main aim of this narrative review is to discuss the current knowledge about the interrelationships between vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder development. Literature analysis showed that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy plays a role in conditioning the development and function of the nervous system. Studies carried out in vitro and in experimental animals have shown that vitamin D deficiency can be associated with structural and functional abnormalities of the nervous system that can be observed in autism spectrum disorder patients. Moreover, it has been reported that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could be a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder development in the offspring, that children with autism spectrum disorder have significantly lower serum levels of vitamin D than normal children and that supplementation of vitamin D in autism spectrum disorder children is associated with a reduction in psychiatric manifestations. However, the data currently available do not adequately support the hypothesis that vitamin D may be a factor which contribute to t...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research

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Abstract Vitamin D is a neurosteroid hormone crucially involved in neurodevelopment. Neural cell proliferation, neurotransmission, oxydative stress and immune function, represent the main mechanisms mediated by vitamin D in the Central Nervous System. Therefore, its deficiency during pregnancy and early childhood may significantly impact on a developing brain, leading to possible adverse neuropsychological outcomes including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Significant vitamin D deficiency is described within children affected by ASD and in pregnant mothers whose offspring will later develop ASD, suggesting a possi...
Source: Current Pharmaceutical Design - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Authors: Tags: Curr Pharm Des Source Type: research
This study investigated the association between gestational 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration and brain morphology in 2597 children at the age of 10 years in the population-based Generation R Study. We studied both 25(OH)D in maternal venous blood in mid-gestation and in umbilical cord blood at delivery, in relation to brain volumetric measures and surface-based cortical metrics including cortical thickness, surface area, and gyrification using linear regression. We found exposure to higher maternal 25(OH)D concentrations in mid-gestation was associated with a larger cerebellar volume in children (b = 0.02, 9...
Source: NeuroImage - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
(Natural News) Vitamin D, also called the “sunshine vitamin,” does more than keep your bones and teeth healthy. According to a study, taking enough vitamin D when you’re pregnant can help lower your unborn child’s risk of developing autism. The study, which was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, is part of “Generation R,” a large research project...
Source: - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
In conclusion, a dysregulated placental immune response may provide a plausible mechanism for both the epidemiological links between DVD-deficiency and increased male incidence of developmental conditions such as autism.
Source: The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research
According to a study in theJournal of Endocrinology, low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy may affect brain development and result in autism-like behaviours of children.Medical Xpress
Source: Society for Endocrinology - Category: Endocrinology Source Type: news
Early life vitamin D plays a prominent role in neurodevelopment and subsequent brain function, including schizophrenic-like outcomes and increasing evidence for an association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we investigate how early life vitamin D deficiency during rat pregnancy and lactation alters maternal care and influences neurodevelopment and affective, cognitive and social behaviours in male adult offspring. Sprague–Dawley rats were placed on either a vitamin D control (2195 IU/kg) or deficient diet (0 IU/kg) for five weeks before timed mating, and diet exposure was maintained until weaning of offsp...
Source: Journal of Endocrinology - Category: Endocrinology Authors: Tags: Research Source Type: research
In conclusion, a dysregulated placental immune response may provide a plausible mechanism for both the epidemiological links between DVD-deficiency and increased male incidence of developmental conditions such as autism.
Source: The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of dysfunctions in social interaction, communication, and behaviors. Studies have demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and in individuals increased the risk of ASD. A genetic polymorphism study has pinpointed that genotype AA/A-allele of GC rs4588 in children is associated with ASD, which encodes the vitamin D binding protein. Translating the mentioned points into clinical practice, several clinical trials have demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation can improve the core symptoms in children with ASD.
Source: Psychiatry Research - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Source Type: research
This study focuses on exposures during the index period, defined as the 3 mo before conception, and during pregnancy. The date of conception was calculated by subtracting gestational age (reported by mothers) from the child’s date of birth. Maternal FA intake. Maternal intake of FA and other nutrients was determined using data collected through telephone interviews on intake of multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, nutrient-specific vitamins, cereals, and other fortified foods or supplements (i.e., breakfast shakes and protein bars), for each month of the index period as described previously (Schmidt et al. 2012, 2014)....
Source: EHP Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Research Source Type: research
ConclusionsCompared to genetic studies of ASD, studies of environmental risk factors are in their infancy and have significant methodological limitations. Future studies of ASD risk factors would benefit from a developmental psychopathology approach, prospective design, precise exposure measurement, reliable timing of exposure in relation to critical developmental periods and should  take into account the dynamic interplay between gene and environment by using genetically informed designs.
Source: Molecular Autism - Category: Molecular Biology Source Type: research
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