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Hypothesis on Cytokine Dysregulation Worsened by COVID19 for People with ASD

Date: July 10 2020

Summary: Loose hypothesis on worsening of cytokine regulation via ASD and COVID19

Keywords: ##zettel #asd #autism ##hypothesis #health #mentalhealth #cytokine ##pandemic #covid19 #archive


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Table of Contents

  1. How To Cite
  2. References
  3. Discussion:

Note: Be careful about conflating correlation with causation.

I have been closely examining the Hypothalamus Pituitary (HPA) axis and have seen how cytokines directly interact with it. [1] Therefore, since ASD has been correlated with cytokine dysregulation [2], it can be reasonable to suspect that as coronavirae can also impact cytokine regulation [3], ASD is a risk factor for COVID19 causing direct problems with the HPA axis leading to multiple downstream issues.

ASD has been correlated with abnormal immune function. This includes:

  1. Cytokine dysregulation

  2. Inflammation

  3. Presence of autoantibodies

Studies show the presence of anti-brain immunoglobulins in ASD patients. [4] ASD status could also be directly correlated with patients’ cytokine and chemokine levels which cause organ inflammation [2]

There is a second phase resulting in a cytokine storm which particularly affects respiratory epithelium [5]. The storm activates cytokines IL-1-beta, IL-6 and TNFalfa. These activations aggravate respiratory symptoms. These cytokines cause damage to pulmonary microvasculature. It simultaneously affects apoptosis and chemotaxis resulting in decreases of epithelial barriers and alveolar edema Back up references about cytokines

How To Cite

Zelko, Jacob. Hypothesis on Cytokine Dysregulation Worsened by COVID19 for People with ASD. July 10 2020.


[1] M. Marmot and R. Wilkinson, Social Determinants of Health, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2006.

[2] A. M. Depino, “Peripheral and central inflammation in autism spectrum disorders,” Mol. Cell. Neurosci., vol. 53, pp. 69–76, 2013.

[3] S. N. J. Korsman, G. U. van Zyl, L. Nutt, M. I. Andersson, and W. Preiser, “Human coronaviruses,” in Virology, Elsevier, 2012, pp. 94–95. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-443-07367-0.00040-9.

[4] A. Meltzer and J. Van de Water, “The role of the immune system in autism spectrum disorder,” Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 284–298, 2017.

[5] Q. Ye, B. Wang, and J. Mao, “Cytokine storm in COVID-19 and treatment,” J. Infect., 2020.


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