New Study Links GI Illness to Autism (ASD)

August 11, 2011

A new study released this week in the Journal of Neuroimmunology supports the increasing body of research pointing to autism as a medical – rather than a psychological – disorder, underscoring the importance of further investigation and open debate about potential causes and treatments of gastrointestinal illnesses, autism and vaccines.

Authors Harumi Jyonouchi, Lee Genga, Deanna L. Streck, and Gokce A. Toruner from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey investigated innate/adaptive immune responses and transcript profiles of peripheral blood monocytes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children who exhibit fluctuating behavioral symptoms following infection and other immune insults.

The authors write, “In this study, we were able to reveal that the ASD/Inf children (children with both autism and recurrent infections) exhibiting chronic gastrointestinal symptoms (ASD/Inf+GI) revealed distinct innate immune abnormalities as opposed to the ASD/Inf-no GI children, despite the presence of similar fluctuating behavioral symptoms/cognitive ability in both subsets.” They went on to say, “…ASD/Inf+GI children may have aberrant mucosal immune responses to commensal flora as is observed in IBD patients.”  (see report)