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Cause Of Autism Could Be Found In Digestive System, Researchers Say

September 26, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Researchers looking into the cause of autism think they may have found it in an unlikely place — the gut.

Autism was first officially recognized as a condition 60 years ago. Most people we know have a family member who is autistic or knows someone who has a family member diagnosed with autism.

Despite numerous studies and millions of dollars spent on research, we have no real evidence about what causes the developmental disorder. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have a theory. It could be related to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. There literally are trillions of bacteria in the gut, and an alteration some of the bacteria may actually be leading to the way autism impacts the brain.

The researchers believe 90 percent of children with autism have stomach problems, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with autism are 3.5 times more likely to experiencediarrhea and constipation.

Research in mice given autistic features in the lab actually found that changing bacteria in the gut caused improvements, but more work needs to be done.

(Source: philadelphia.cbslocal.com)


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