About this Research Topic
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease, with a worldwide prevalence of 1-2%.
The pathogenesis of ASD is yet not completely understood, however, it has been recognized that a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as well as immune dysfunction potentially play a role for its development.
Associated with the immune system activation, it has also been suggested that autism can result from the central nervous system derangements due to chronic inflammatory reactions.
ASD is associated with several coexisting diseases or comorbidities, including neurodevelopmental, medical, and mental health conditions. ASD children may also have gastrointestinal disturbances, feeding problems associated with disruptive behaviors and selective eating behaviors can lead to obesity. Children with ASD have indeed an increased risk of obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders.
The etiology of obesity and metabolic disorders in ASD population is unknown, but the immune system dysfunction in the central nervous system may contribute to the association between all comorbidities.
Metabolic diseases, inflammation, and brain diseases are likely linked, however, a clear mechanistic understanding has remained elusive. The association of classical pharmacological treatments with exercise and other physical activities to intervention programs aimed at children with ASD may be potentially beneficial. The identification of the molecular and cellular benefits of exercise in psychological and metabolic features of ASD disease will lead to better understand the disease.
This Research Topic aims to publish cutting-edge research articles on the neurological and metabolic changes among autism, with the goal of advancing treatment options (including pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches) and developing new care models, improving quality of life, and contributing core knowledge about autism and co-occurring metabolic conditions.
We encourage submissions from a range of fields including genetics, molecular neurobiology, neuropathology, neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, epidemiology, and biomarker discovery both in humans and in animal models.
We will welcome original research and review manuscripts on, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Advances in the understanding of autism, including potential causes and prevalence (e.g., genetic, immunological, environmental);
- Neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuronal metabolism;
- Metabolic programming as a risk factor for autism;
- Obesity-induced psychiatry diseases and inflammatory mechanisms;
- Gastrointestinal issues;
- Nutrition including food selectivity;
- Physical activity and exercise;
- Prevention and treatment studies;
- Involvement of the autistic community in studying physical health and its care.
Keywords: Autism, Obesity, Diabetes, Exercise Intervention Approaches, Pharmacotherapy
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.