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Autism and the gut-brain axis

By H. van Veen

Abstract

Autism is a disorder of neural development for which modern medicine has no cure. As many autism subjects also suffer from Gastro-Intestinal (GI) problems, gut-brain communication may be part of the underlying etiology in autism. However, autism, or in its broader sense Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a multifactorial disorder. Genetics, immunology, hormonal and environmental effects all have proven to be relevant. Brain areas involved in autism consistently show morphological aberrations. This indicates that autism is not a dysfunction of an otherwise normal brain. Many autism subjects however seem to benefit from dietary intervention though this is hard to prove in a statistically rigorous manner. It is concluded that, although the gut-brain axis does influence functioning of the autism brain in some ways, it is not its main etiology. As it presently is the easiest accessible route available for intervention, it is worthwhile however to investigate the gut-brain axis’ relation with autism further

Topics: Autism, gut-brain axis, probiotics, mTOR, extreme male brain.
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/217767
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