Saturday, July 6, 2013

Special Education Saturday - Gut Feelings about Autism

The bacteria that live in our digestive system are responsible for many aspects of our health. This current hot topic includes our digestion, weight, immune responses, and brain activity.

These little critters can range from benign to helpful to very dangerous. A recent analysis of the flora found in the tracts of children with autism at Arizona State University revealed those youngsters had gut bacteria that were less diverse than those found in their peers.

Three important bacteria, Prevotella, Coprococcus, and Veillonellaceae, were in significantly short supply.

There was also a correlation between lack of diversity and autistic symptoms.

What's the significance of this finding?

Analysis of gut bacteria may be the future of diagnostic testing rather than the more subjective behavioral assessments of today.

These researchers also believe this may be the source of GI problems that can last into adulthood. Treatment of gut problems in these children has also demonstrated a significant improvement in behavior and functionality.

Causes under consideration include genetics, a typical Western diet.

How do you treat stomach problems in your child with autism? Do you use probiotics?