Autism & Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are neuro-developmental disorders characterized by impaired social communication, abnormal social interactions, communication deficits and repetitive behaviors and/or restricted interests. Numerous immune system abnormalities have been described in individuals with autism including abnormalities in the ratio of Th1/Th2/Th17 cells.
Two studies came out in August and September of 2017 evaluating the treatment of the immune imbalance in autistic individuals with Resveratrol. Study #1 assessed “Typically Developing” children and “Children with Autism.” What the scientists found was the autistic group displayed altered immune profiles and function, characterized by systemic deficit of Foxp3 & T- regulatory cells.
- Foxp3 gene functions as a ‘master regulator’ of the regulatory pathway in the development and function of T-regulatory cells.
- T-regulatory cells modulate the immune system, maintain tolerance to food/chemical/antigens, and prevent autoimmune disease.
Conclusion: Results suggest that autism impacts transcription factor signaling, which results in an immunological imbalance. Therefore, the restoration of transcription factor signaling may have a great therapeutic potential in the treatment of autistic disorders.
So, how do we restore this wildly imbalanced immunological function? With Resveratrol!
Resveratrol, is a natural compound found in the skin of red grapes, blueberries, blackberries, dark purple berries. It is used widely as a beneficial treatment of an extensive array of pathologies, including neuro-degenerative diseases.
Study #2 was an animal trial in which 20-40 mg/kg of resveratrol was administered to autistic mice as well as typically developing mice to see what effects it would have.
Initially it was observed that the autistic mice exhibited a distinct immune profile from that of the control mice. They too, had lower levels of the Foxp3 expression (such as the autistic children had in study #1) and elevated inflammatory markers.
The resveratrol treatment to the autistic mice showed substantial rise of Foxp3+ and reduction in inflammatory markers in the spleen and brain tissues, when compared with the respective control mice.
Conclusion: Results suggest that autism is associated with dysregulation of transcription factor signaling that can be corrected by resveratrol treatment.