NASET News Alert
Fever May Be Significant Clue to Autism Research and TreatmentDecember 03, 2007
Fever can temporarily unlock autism's grip on children, a finding that could shed light on the roots of the condition and perhaps provide clues for treatment, researchers reported on Monday. It appears that fever restores nerve cell communications in regions of the autistic brain, restoring a child's ability to interact and socialize during the fever, the study said.
"The results of this study are important because they show us that the autistic brain is plastic, or capable of altering current connections and forming new ones in response to different experiences or conditions," said Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist at Baltimore's Kennedy Krieger Institute, who was one of the study authors.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, was based on 30 children with autism aged 2 to 18 who were observed during and after a fever of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. More than 80 percent of those with fever showed some improvements in behavior during it and 30 percent had dramatic improvements, the researchers said.
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