In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How a mother unwittingly causes autism in her child

By Geoffrey Mohan

The revelations of a complex series of lock-and-key experiments

JewishWorldReview.com |

LOS ANGELES — (MCT) An immune system that ensures survival is one of the earliest gifts from a mother to her child. But sometimes, that gift can be a Trojan horse, sending soldiers that are programmed to attack the body’s own antigens into the fetus, where they interfere with brain development.

The result is maternal autoantibody related (MAR) autism, which may account for as much as 23% of the cases of that spectrum of brain disorders.

Now UC Davis researchers believe they have found the targets of these maternal autoantibodies, a potential step in the path toward preventive treatment for women contemplating pregnancy.

The researchers also demonstrated that these human autoantibodies can change the social behavior and brain mass of a close primate cousin, the rhesus monkey, in ways that are parallel to autism’s symptoms in humans.

Though the effects of these immunoglobulin-G compounds on animal and human brains have become more clear in recent years, why they arise in the first place remains a mystery.

“You’re making antibodies to your own proteins, rather than foreign bodies; it’s when the immune system gets it wrong,” said UC Davis immunologist Judy Van de Water, lead author of one of the studies, published Tuesday in the journal Translational Psychiatry. “What causes it in this case we may never know.”

Identifying the targets of these oddly programmed proteins has taken years. Van de Water and her colleagues have struggled to tease out all the identities of these compounds from a range of suspect molecules identified through chemical imaging.

But through a complex series of lock-and-key experiments, the team identified seven fetal antigens that were attacked by the maternal autoantibodies. All but one have been linked with the creation and development of neurons, particularly in the hippocampus. That region, associated with memory and learning, has been tied to autism in numerous studies.

The neurological role of one antigen, however, known as LDH, remains somewhat mysterious. Although LDH has been found in rodent fetal brains, where it is associated with cellular metabolism, the autoantibodies that attack it have not been shown to have a direct role in interfering with neurological development, according to the researchers.

Nonetheless, levels of LDH often are used to measure cell damage after exposure to toxins, such as the industrial solvent trichloroethylene -- an intriguing hint, perhaps, of an environmental factor in the rise of autoantibodies, the study suggested.

“We’re still building the total picture,” Van de Water cautioned.

While her team was delving into the cellular level, UC Davis neuroscientist Melissa Bauman, of the university's MIND Institute (an acronym for Medical Investigaton of Neurodevelopmental Disorders), was leading a team looking at rhesus monkey behavior.

Studies with mice already had shown altered behaviors in offspring of mothers injected with human maternal antibodies, and Bauman's earlier work with monkeys closely paralleled those studies.

When Bauman expanded the research with a more specific set of antibodies, she again chronicled odd behavior. Monkeys born to mothers injected with these human maternal autoantibodies behaved in awkward and potentially dangerous ways -- too readily approaching both familiar and strange peers, who did not reciprocate their social overtures. The monkeys' mothers also seemed to be more protective of these offspring.


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“We’re not attempting to create a monkey with autism, but we’re looking for changes in behaviors that parallel features of human autism,” Bauman said. “Our data suggest that the antibody-exposed animals were not following a typical trajectory of social development, and both their mother and their peers also appeared to detect these differences.”

Examination of the brains of these exposed monkeys showed that the volume of the male brains was far greater than that of normally developing monkeys – another parallel with human brain development among male autistics, who outnumber female autistics more than 4 to 1.

“We don’t know why,” said Bauman. “That’s our next question. Why is brain growth changed in the males but not the females.”

Because of ethical rules, sample sizes were very small, and Bauman acknowledged that the results will have to be reconfirmed before she can make stronger conclusions. The UC Davis teams also will have to look more closely at the neuron level of those brains, while continuing to delve into the immunological side of the mystery.

That broad approach, she said, has become typical of research into a brain disorder that remains a puzzle.

“Autism is changing the way we do science,” Bauman noted. “The idea of a single scientist working alone and coming across major discoveries is just not going to work for autism. It’s going to require collaboration across disciplines and really a new way of thinking about science.”

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.