Lectures and seminars PsychEpi external speaker series: Dr Renee Gardner, Dept of Global Public Health
MEB PsychEpi external speaker series presents:
Speaker: Dr Renee Gardner, Principal Researcher, Dept of Global Public Health, KI
Title: A Critical Evaluation of the Role of “Maternal Immune Activation” in Autism
A long-standing hypothesis in the field of psychiatric epidemiology posits that inflammatory conditions and activation of the maternal immune system during pregnancy perturb the developing nervous system of the fetus, contributing to conditions such as autism in the exposed children. However, emerging evidence indicates genetic overlap between liability for psychiatric conditions and certain aspects of immune function, and thus there is a possibility that the associations previously noted in observational studies might be partially explained by genetic confounding rather than representing causal relationships. Triangulation in observational epidemiology refers to the integration of results from studies using different approaches, with complementary strengths and weaknesses (i.e., sources of bias), to improve causal inference and obtain more reliable results. This presentation will discuss results of recent studies employing triangulation approaches to evaluate the weight of evidence for causal relationships between maternal conditions, such as infections and certain autoimmune disorders, and autism in children.
Welcome on Zoom: https://ki-se.zoom.us/j/63966139856