Autoimmune and gastrointestinal dysfunctions: Does a subset of children with autism reveal a broader connection?

Department of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, John A Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.
Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology (Impact Factor: 2.42). 08/2011; 5(4):465-77. DOI: 10.1586/egh.11.46
Source: PubMed


A large number of autoimmune disorders have a gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction component that may interplay with genetic, hormonal, environmental and/or stress factors. This narrarive review investigates possible links between autism, immune system abnormalities and GI symptoms in a subgroup of children with autism. A literature search on Medline (1950 to September 2010) was conducted to identify relevant articles by using the keywords 'autism and gastrointestinal' (71 publications) and 'autism and immune' (237 publications), cross-referencing and general searching to evaluate the available literature on the immunological and GI aspects of autism. Sufficient evidence exists to support that a subgroup of children with autism may suffer from concomitant immune-related GI symptoms.

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Available from: Amy C. Brown, Jun 17, 2014
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    • "We can consider some possibilities to explain the higher anti-gliadin antibody levels found in the cohort of children with autism. Previously, associations between autism and increased GI symptoms, as well as impaired intestinal permeability, have been reported [9], [10], [29]. Increased intestinal permeability resulting from damage to the intestinal epithelial barrier in those with autism may be responsible for increased exposure of the immune system to partially digested gluten fragments, resulting in the detected increase in antibody response. "
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