Gastrointestinal factors in autistic disorder: a critical review.
ABSTRACT Interest in the gastrointestinal (GI) factors of autistic disorder (autism) has developed from descriptions of symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea in autistic children and advanced towards more detailed studies of GI histopathology and treatment modalities. This review attempts to critically and comprehensively analyze the literature as it applies to all aspects of GI factors in autism, including discussion of symptoms, pathology, nutrition, and treatment. While much literature is available on this topic, a dearth of rigorous study was found to validate GI factors specific to children with autism.
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ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a group of neurodevelopmental abnormalities that begin in early childhood and are characterized by impairment of social communication and behavioral problems including restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Several genes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of ASD, most of them are involved in neuronal synaptogenesis. A number of environmental factors and associated conditions such as gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities and immune imbalance have been linked to the pathophysiology of ASD. According to the March 2012 report released by United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of ASD has sharply increased during the recent years and one out of 88 children suffers now from ASD symptoms. Although there is a strong genetic base for the disease, several associated factors could have a direct link to the pathogenesis of ASD or act as modifiers of the genes thus aggravating the initial problem. Many children suffering from ASD have GI problems such as abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux, and intestinal infections. A number of studies focusing on the intestinal mucosa, its permeability, abnormal gut development, leaky gut, and other GI problem raised many questions but studies were somehow inconclusive and an expert panel of American Academy of Pediatrics has strongly recommended further investigation in these areas. GI tract has a direct connection with the immune system and an imbalanced immune response is usually seen in ASD children. Maternal infection or autoimmune diseases have been suspected. Activation of the immune system during early development may have deleterious effect on various organs including the nervous system. In this review we revisited briefly the GI and immune system abnormalities and neuropeptide imbalance and their role in the pathophysiology of ASD and discussed some future research directions.World journal of gastroenterology : WJG. 08/2014; 20(29):9942-9951.
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ABSTRACT: We aimed to compare body mass index( BMI) and healthy eating index( HEI) in children with autism spectrum disorder( ASD, n = 105) and typically developing (TD, n = 495) children.They were aged 6–9years,lived in Valencia (Spain) and came from similar cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.In this case–control study,the weight,height and BMI were measured for both groups.Three-day food records were used to assess dietary intake.Although the differences between children with ASD and TD children in raw BMI (p = 0.44),BMI z-score (p = 0.37),HEI(p = 0.43)and total energy intake (p = 0.86) were not significant,children with ASD and the boys subgroup were shorter (p = 0.01),but not the girls subgroup,compared to TD children of the same gender.Using the controls values as a reference,the BMI distribution in children with ASD be came distorted,with values below the 5th percentile (11%vs.4%, p = 0.03) and above the 95th percentile (8%vs.5%, p = 0.04).The gender-and age-adjusted odds ratios for being underweight in the groups of all children and boys with ASD were 3.03 and 2.39,respectively,vs.TD children.Our data suggest that routine monitoring of children with ASD should include anthropometric measurements and assessment of their dietary habitsResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders 10/2014; 9(2015)26–33. · 2.96 Impact Factor