Gut bacteria could be clue to autism

Gut bacteria could be clue to autism

Children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms have high levels of the bacterium Sutterella in the gut, according to new research. Over half of children with autism who experience gastrointestinal disturbances have Sutterella in their intestine at remarkably high levels, a study at the Centre for Infection and Immunity found. Dr Brent Williams, lead author of the study, commented: "These findings shine a light on a bacterium about which we know very little, in a disorder for which we have few answers." Many children with autism have gastrointestinal problems but the underlying reason for this is unknown. However, some studies claim that children with autism are no more likely than children without autism to have had gastrointestinal disorders. Researchers at Boston University identified 96 children with autism and matched each case with up to five children without autism. They considered the time relation between measles, mumps, rubella vaccination and the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms among the cases, and found no increase in a history of gastrointestinal disorders symptoms among children with autism compared with those without autism. Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.