Understanding the Link Between Allergy and Neurodevelopmental Disorders: A Current Review of Factors and Mechanisms

Regena Xin Yi Chua, Michelle Jia Yu Tay, Delicia Shu Qin Ooi, Kewin Tien Ho Siah, Elizabeth Huiwen Tham, Lynette Pei-Chi Shek, Singapore Institute, Birit F. P. Broekman, Evelyn Xiu Ling Loo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Both allergic diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that not only impact on the quality of life and but also result in substantial economic burden. Immune dysregulation and inflammation are typical hallmarks in both allergic and neurodevelopmental disorders, suggesting converging pathophysiology. Epidemiological studies provided convincing evidence for the link between allergy and neurodevelopmental diseases such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Possible factors influencing the development of these disorders include maternal depression and anxiety, gestational diabetes mellitus, maternal allergic status, diet, exposure to environmental pollutants, microbiome dysbiosis, and sleep disturbances that occur early in life. Moreover, apart from inflammation, epigenetics, gene expression, and mitochondrial dysfunction have emerged as possible underlying mechanisms in the pathogenesis of these conditions. The exploration and understanding of these shared factors and possible mechanisms may enable us to elucidate the link in the comorbidity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number603571
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021

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