The study may provide hope for future avenues of ASD research. But it also provides an important piece of information for professionals who must evaluate children with the disorder, the researchers said.
"This research adds to the literature of understanding the underlying neurological and behavioral aspects of ASD in that it assists with setting a context for evaluation and treatment. It will be important for diagnosticians to query parents and guardians as to how recently the child had a fever because it may diminish behaviors that need to be assessed," said Michael Morrier, assistant director for research and program evaluation at the Emory Autism Center in Atlanta.
Morrier said he would like to see more in-depth study of the effect.
Autism may strike one in every 150 American children, according to statistics released earlier this year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Males are four times more likely than females to be diagnosed with the disorder.
To learn more about autism, visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
SOURCES: Andrew Zimmerman, M.D., pediatric neurologist, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; Laura Curran, Ph.D., research assistant, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; Annette Estes, M.D., research assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Washington, Seattle, and associate director of the University of Washington Autism Center; Michael J. Morrier, M.A., BCBA, assistant director, Research and Program Evaluation, Emory Autism Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta; December 2007, Pediatrics
All rights reserved