Today, I’m passing my blogging pass over to the lovely ‘Soraya Janmohamed’ from OptiBac Probiotics :
A study published earlier this month has found that autistic children have significantly different gut bacteria to children without autism.
A novel method of analysis called ‘PCR’ (Polymerase chain reaction – a technique where scientists copy and examine DNA) allowed researchers to detect high levels of members of the bacteria ‘Sutterrella’in many of the children with autism, and in none of the children without. Sutterrellawas found in 12 of 23 of the autistic children but in none of the 9 participants without autism who took part in the study as a control.
This is not the first study to demonstrate a link between autism and gut bacteria (or microbiota) and children with autism are often thought to anecdotally suffer with gastrointestinal problems such as food intolerances, diarrhoea or constipation. The fact that this study shows a little-recognised bacterium to be present in more than half the autism children with autism is a significant finding, and calls for further research in the area to be done.
Interestingly, a large survey released in the last few days has found autism to often go hand in hand with other mental & behavioural conditions in children, such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, or learning disabilities. Anxiety and similar conditions were more common in the slightly older children with autism. 92, 000 parents of children under 17 years old with autism took part in the phone survey in the USA. This could again be of significance, partly as anxiety has been linked to gut bacteria in the past.
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