AUTHORS: Belica, I., Szadvári, I., Babinská, K.

ABSTRACT:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia have a genetic basis, but environmental factors also play a significant role in their etiopathogenesis. One of them may be an infectious disease in the mother during pregnancy. This is indicated mainly by the epidemiological studies, in which a prenatal infection has been shown to increase under certain circumstances the risk of ASD and schizophrenia in the offspring. Animal experiments indicate that the immune response of the mother plays a key role here, especially in the form of a cytokine storm. However, the resulting effect of the prenatal infection depends on several risk and protective factors on the side of the mother and the fetus, as well as on the characteristics of the infections. In case of COVID-19, due to the shortness of time, such studies are absent, however, due to its infectious nature, and predominantly its high prevalence rates, it is reasonable to consider this disease as a potential risk. The objective of our paper was to summarize results of epidemiological and animal studies in respect to other infections and, based on that, to analyse whether COVID-19 during pregnancy represents a risk for the development of ASD or schizophrenia in the offspring.

Čes a slov Psychiat 2023; 119(3): 109–115