Maternal autoimmunity may predispose children to tic and obsessive-compulsive disorders

Researchers in Australia have shown that childhood tic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be linked to maternal autoimmunity and inflammation.

“Epidemiological research, animal models, and early clinical studies support a role for maternal immune activation in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Dr Hannah Jones of the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, who presented new study findings at ICNA/CNS 2020.

The study was a prospective, case-controlled trial designed to assess the prevalence of autoimmune disease and other pro-inflammatory conditions in mothers of children with tic/OCD.

The researchers assessed maternal medical history in 200 children with tic/OCD, 100 children with other autoimmune neurological conditions (positive controls), and 100 healthy children (negative controls). They found that: