TACA webinars are free and provide education and information for parents in a convenient, easy way. Many of the webinars will include a survey at the end so that attendees can receive the slides via email.
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Brain Inflamed: The Blood Brain Barrier and Neuroinflammation in ASD and Mood Disorders
with Kenneth Bock, M.D
10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST
Just as we have seen an epidemic rise in Autism Spectrum Disorders over the last three decades, we have also witnessed a significant increase in anxiety, depression and other mood disorders in children, adolescents and teens, especially over this past decade. Like ASD, these mood disorders, which are frequently present in their siblings, are heterogeneous in their presentation and lie on another spectrum, one that I have named the “Mood Dysregulation Spectrum”. Although kids these days in general are experiencing increased psychosocial stress, it has been compounded by pandemic related isolation and loneliness. Additionally, we must recognize that this increased stress has biological underpinnings that must be considered, especially disruption of the gut-immune-brain axis, with systemic inflammation, and ultimately neuroinflammation. This brain inflammation is present in many children with ASD, as well as their neurotypical siblings. This presentation will discuss the blood brain barrier, the dynamic cellular interface responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the brain and keeping toxins and inflammatory mediators out. Understanding its role, and ways to shore it up, and restore and maintain its integrity, is important to help remediate and prevent brain inflammation and its related symptoms of these mood disorders.