Research Topic

Understanding the Causal Link Between Inflammation and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

About this Research Topic

A role for the immune system in the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, has been suggested for a long time. This is based on epidemiological studies showing an association between the infections, immune-related disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders. Cross-sectional studies have further repetitively shown a relationship between changes in inflammatory pathways in blood and brain tissue of patients with these disorders. Genetic studies have also shown associations with immune-related genes. Animal and cellular models have shown proof-of-concept that inflammation can lead to aberrant neurodevelopment. However, whether similar processes play a role in development of neurodevelopmental disorders in humans and the immune-related mechanisms involved in aberrant neurodevelopment are still poorly understood.

The immune system is increasingly recognized as a potential target for prevention and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, to design these strategies it is essential to gain a better understanding of the role of the immune system in atypical neurodevelopment. The goal of this Research Topic is to move beyond the previously immune-related associations and increase our understanding of whether and how the immune system contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders.

In this Research Topic, we aim to collect studies that address the causal role of the immune system in atypical neurodevelopment and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs).
We seek Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Clinical Trial, Case Report and Opinion articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Preclinical studies that show the impact of genetic risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders on the function of the immune system
• Experimental studies that show how inflammatory insults could alter neural stem cells specification, development and maturation leading to neurodevelopmental disorders
• Studies focusing on development and validation of biomarkers during pre and postnatal development by comparing both/either animal or human data set
• Gene X environment interaction studies that analyze the interaction between immune-related insults and genetic risk to neurodevelopmental disorders
• Multidisciplinary approaches for understanding how immune system impacts neuronal circuits wiring and refinement and during brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders
• Epidemiological studies that address the timing of inflammatory and immune-related events and development of neurodevelopmental disorders
• Epidemiological studies that address the association between immune-related interventions and neurodevelopmental disorders


Keywords: Neurodevelopmental disorders, Inflammation, Genetics, Environment, Mechanistic pathways


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.

A role for the immune system in the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, has been suggested for a long time. This is based on epidemiological studies showing an association between the infections, immune-related disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders. Cross-sectional studies have further repetitively shown a relationship between changes in inflammatory pathways in blood and brain tissue of patients with these disorders. Genetic studies have also shown associations with immune-related genes. Animal and cellular models have shown proof-of-concept that inflammation can lead to aberrant neurodevelopment. However, whether similar processes play a role in development of neurodevelopmental disorders in humans and the immune-related mechanisms involved in aberrant neurodevelopment are still poorly understood.

The immune system is increasingly recognized as a potential target for prevention and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, to design these strategies it is essential to gain a better understanding of the role of the immune system in atypical neurodevelopment. The goal of this Research Topic is to move beyond the previously immune-related associations and increase our understanding of whether and how the immune system contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders.

In this Research Topic, we aim to collect studies that address the causal role of the immune system in atypical neurodevelopment and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs).
We seek Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Clinical Trial, Case Report and Opinion articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Preclinical studies that show the impact of genetic risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders on the function of the immune system
• Experimental studies that show how inflammatory insults could alter neural stem cells specification, development and maturation leading to neurodevelopmental disorders
• Studies focusing on development and validation of biomarkers during pre and postnatal development by comparing both/either animal or human data set
• Gene X environment interaction studies that analyze the interaction between immune-related insults and genetic risk to neurodevelopmental disorders
• Multidisciplinary approaches for understanding how immune system impacts neuronal circuits wiring and refinement and during brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders
• Epidemiological studies that address the timing of inflammatory and immune-related events and development of neurodevelopmental disorders
• Epidemiological studies that address the association between immune-related interventions and neurodevelopmental disorders


Keywords: Neurodevelopmental disorders, Inflammation, Genetics, Environment, Mechanistic pathways


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.

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Submission Deadlines

05 March 2021 Abstract
06 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

05 March 2021 Abstract
06 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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