Home Health Parents News Now Large-Scale Study Links Autism, Autoimmunity Large-Scale Study Links Autism, Autoimmunity By Holly Lebowitz Rossi September 03, 2013 Advertisement Save Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print shutterstock_131580971 30506 ...While the blood-brain barrier in the adult women prevents them from being harmed by the antibodies, that same filter in the fetuses is not well-developed enough and so may allow the "anti-brain" antibodies to pass through to the babies' brains, possibly causing autism. The study was led by Dr. Betty Diamond, head of the Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disorders at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Long Island, New York, who said the very large sample size "gives a clearer impression of the prevalence of these antibodies." "We at AARDA applaud Dr. Diamond's research into an area that concerns all parents," said Virginia T. Ladd, President of American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA). According to AARDA, in healthy people, when a foreign invader, such as a virus or bacteria, enters the body, the immune system produces antibodies to attack those foreign substances. In people with autoimmunity, the immune system mistakenly recognizes the body's own healthy tissues and organs as foreign invaders and produces antibodies to attack them. These auto-antibodies -- or antibodies produced against the self -- then cause disease. The disease that results depends upon which tissues and/or organs the antibodies are attacking. Some 50 million Americans live and cope with autoimmune disease (AD), 75 percent of whom are women. Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock By Holly Lebowitz Rossi Save Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print Comments Add a Comment Be the first to comment! No comments yet. Advertisement Close this dialog window Add a comment Large-Scale Study Links Autism, Autoimmunity Add your comment... Cancel Submit Success! Thanks for adding your feedback.