Fever appears to temporarily halt the hold autism has a children, a finding that could lead to future treatments for the condition.
A new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, said fever appears to restore nerve cell communications in regions of the autistic brain, restoring a child's ability to interact and socialize.
Researchers studied 30 autistic children ages 2 through 18, who were observed during and after a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
More than 80 percent study participants showed some improvements in behavior and 30 percent had dramatic improvements during a fever. The observed improvements included longer concentration spans, more talking, improved eye contact, and better overall relations with adults and other children, the researchers said.
Study author Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, said the research may lead to a treatment that would reconnect the autistic brain.