Microglia can be your best friend or your worst enemy according to the indicators they receive, Dr. Shytle said. The analogy is usually that you keep talking to them they’ll care for you, but if you stop talking they are more likely to get aggressive and also have a toxic effect on the brain. The USF researchers hypothesize that acetylcholine works as an endogenous anti-inflammatory substance to help prevent microglia from attacking the brain.What did they discover? Researchers saw distinctions in the mind matter of kids who were eventually identified as having an autism spectrum disorder by age group 2. These small children were more likely showing thicker, denser nerve-fibers readings at six months – but thinner white matter at age group 2. ‘These findings improve the chance for developing imaging markers which could identify risk for autism before real symptoms, and [to] start treatment before symptoms start,’ study writer Geri Dawson, chief technology officer at Autism Speaks, told HealthDay.