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"" Ann Bonham named acting executive associate dean ""
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"" Traditional test for predicting heart disease found unreliable ""
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"" Ophthalmologist receives grant to study bioengineered material ""
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  Immune, protein alterations found in blood samples of children with autism  
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  Brain region recovery possible in former methamphetamine users  
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  CT technology may be gentler, more accurate than mammography  
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  Town raises $1 million to fight cancer  
     
  Researchers discover new link between C-reactive protein and heart disease, stroke  
     
  UC Davis study on drug advertising shows influence on physicians  
     
  Study shows women not using tamoxifen for cancer prevention  
     
  Immune system reactions different in children with autism  
     
  Magazine ranks School of Medicine among best for primary care, research  
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  NEWS
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Immune system reactions different in children with autism

A new study by researchers at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and the NIEHS Center for Children's Environmental Health demonstrate that children with autism have different immune system responses than children who do not have the disorder. The study was released at the fourth annual International Meeting for Autism Research.

"Understanding the biology of autism is crucial to developing better ways to diagnose and treat it," said Judy Van de Water, associate professor of rheumatology, allergy and clinical immunology at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.

Van de Water, along with co-investigator Paul Ashwood, assistant professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, isolated immune cells from blood samples taken from 30 children with autism and 26 typically developing children aged between two and five years of age. The cells from both groups were then exposed to bacterial and viral agents that usually provoke T-cells, B cells and macrophages — primary players in the immune system.

Of the agents tested in the study — tetanus toxoid, lippopolysaccharide derived from E. coli cell walls, a plant lectin known as PHA, and a preparation of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine antigens — the researchers found clear differences in cellular responses between patients and controls following exposure to the bacterial agents and PHA.

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