Maternal folate status as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders: A review of existing evidence

Elizabeth A. Devilbiss, Renee M. Gardner, Craig J. Newschaffer, Brian K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Emerging evidence from epidemiological studies supports the notion that maternal folate status regulated by dietary and genetic factors early in pregnancy may influence the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this review, we provide an overview of what is known about the role of folate in the aetiology of neurodevelopmental disorders; summarise relevant biological, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms; and synthesise the evidence from human observational studies and randomised controlled trials that have examined the relationship between maternal folate and ASD or related traits. Much of the existing literature on this topic is subject to limitations such as potential confounding by healthy behaviours and other dietary factors, and exposure assessed within limited exposure windows. As the existing evidence is inconclusive, further research remains to be conducted in order to verify this hypothesis. Complete assessment of maternal functional folate status through the pre- and peri-conceptional periods requires biological measurement of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine and genetic variants involved in one-carbon metabolism and epigenetic mechanisms. In addition to more complete assessment of maternal functional folate status, careful consideration of potential confounding is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-672
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume114
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015

Fingerprint

Folic Acid
Mothers
Epigenomics
Homocysteine
Vitamin B 12
Observational Studies
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Epidemiologic Studies
Carbon
Randomized Controlled Trials
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Devilbiss, Elizabeth A. ; Gardner, Renee M. ; Newschaffer, Craig J. ; Lee, Brian K. / Maternal folate status as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders : A review of existing evidence. In: British Journal of Nutrition. 2015 ; Vol. 114, No. 5. pp. 663-672.
@article{04086373db3f40b9a7c2f43e49b43602,
title = "Maternal folate status as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders: A review of existing evidence",
abstract = "Emerging evidence from epidemiological studies supports the notion that maternal folate status regulated by dietary and genetic factors early in pregnancy may influence the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this review, we provide an overview of what is known about the role of folate in the aetiology of neurodevelopmental disorders; summarise relevant biological, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms; and synthesise the evidence from human observational studies and randomised controlled trials that have examined the relationship between maternal folate and ASD or related traits. Much of the existing literature on this topic is subject to limitations such as potential confounding by healthy behaviours and other dietary factors, and exposure assessed within limited exposure windows. As the existing evidence is inconclusive, further research remains to be conducted in order to verify this hypothesis. Complete assessment of maternal functional folate status through the pre- and peri-conceptional periods requires biological measurement of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine and genetic variants involved in one-carbon metabolism and epigenetic mechanisms. In addition to more complete assessment of maternal functional folate status, careful consideration of potential confounding is warranted.",
author = "Devilbiss, {Elizabeth A.} and Gardner, {Renee M.} and Newschaffer, {Craig J.} and Lee, {Brian K.}",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1017/S0007114515002470",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "114",
pages = "663--672",
journal = "British Journal of Nutrition",
issn = "0007-1145",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "5",

}

Maternal folate status as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders : A review of existing evidence. / Devilbiss, Elizabeth A.; Gardner, Renee M.; Newschaffer, Craig J.; Lee, Brian K.

In: British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 114, No. 5, 03.08.2015, p. 663-672.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Maternal folate status as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders

T2 - A review of existing evidence

AU - Devilbiss, Elizabeth A.

AU - Gardner, Renee M.

AU - Newschaffer, Craig J.

AU - Lee, Brian K.

PY - 2015/8/3

Y1 - 2015/8/3

N2 - Emerging evidence from epidemiological studies supports the notion that maternal folate status regulated by dietary and genetic factors early in pregnancy may influence the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this review, we provide an overview of what is known about the role of folate in the aetiology of neurodevelopmental disorders; summarise relevant biological, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms; and synthesise the evidence from human observational studies and randomised controlled trials that have examined the relationship between maternal folate and ASD or related traits. Much of the existing literature on this topic is subject to limitations such as potential confounding by healthy behaviours and other dietary factors, and exposure assessed within limited exposure windows. As the existing evidence is inconclusive, further research remains to be conducted in order to verify this hypothesis. Complete assessment of maternal functional folate status through the pre- and peri-conceptional periods requires biological measurement of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine and genetic variants involved in one-carbon metabolism and epigenetic mechanisms. In addition to more complete assessment of maternal functional folate status, careful consideration of potential confounding is warranted.

AB - Emerging evidence from epidemiological studies supports the notion that maternal folate status regulated by dietary and genetic factors early in pregnancy may influence the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this review, we provide an overview of what is known about the role of folate in the aetiology of neurodevelopmental disorders; summarise relevant biological, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms; and synthesise the evidence from human observational studies and randomised controlled trials that have examined the relationship between maternal folate and ASD or related traits. Much of the existing literature on this topic is subject to limitations such as potential confounding by healthy behaviours and other dietary factors, and exposure assessed within limited exposure windows. As the existing evidence is inconclusive, further research remains to be conducted in order to verify this hypothesis. Complete assessment of maternal functional folate status through the pre- and peri-conceptional periods requires biological measurement of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine and genetic variants involved in one-carbon metabolism and epigenetic mechanisms. In addition to more complete assessment of maternal functional folate status, careful consideration of potential confounding is warranted.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84940490355&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84940490355&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0007114515002470

DO - 10.1017/S0007114515002470

M3 - Review article

C2 - 26243379

AN - SCOPUS:84940490355

VL - 114

SP - 663

EP - 672

JO - British Journal of Nutrition

JF - British Journal of Nutrition

SN - 0007-1145

IS - 5

ER -