Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms have altered digestive genes

Date:
September 18, 2011
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers report that children with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances have altered expression of genes involved in digestion. These variations may contribute to changes in the types of bacteria in their intestines.

Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and at the Harvard Medical School report that children with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances have altered expression of genes involved in digestion. These variations may contribute to changes in the types of bacteria in their intestines.

Full study findings are reported online in the journal PLoS ONE.

Autism, which is defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, affects approximately 1% of the population. Many children with autism have gastrointestinal problems that can complicate clinical management and contribute to behavioral disturbances. In some children, special diets and antibiotics have been associated with improvements in social, cognitive and gastrointestinal function.

The investigators found that children diagnosed with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances have abnormalities in levels of genes for enzymes that break down sugars and for molecules that transport them from the lumen of the intestine into the blood. These variations were also associated with changes in the bacterial composition of the intestine.

The researchers examined biopsies from 22 patients, 15 diagnosed with autism and seven typically developing children. They used real-time PCR to measure gene expression and genetic sequencing techniques to characterize the bacteria present in the intestines of each child.

Brent Williams, PhD, research scientist at CII and first author of the study, noted that, "whereas others have looked at bacterial composition of feces, our group was the first to characterize mucosal communities and to link findings to expression of genes important in carbohydrate metabolism and transport."

"The findings are consistent with other research suggesting that autism may be a system-wide disorder, and provide insight into why changes in diet or the use of antibiotics may help alleviate symptoms in some children," added Mady Hornig, MD, Director of Translational Research at the Center for Infection and Immunity.

"Although caution in interpretation is indicated because the sample size is small, our findings nonetheless provide a framework for developing and testing new hypotheses concerning the role of malabsorption and microflora in autism and related disorders," said Ian Lipkin, MD, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brent L. Williams, Mady Hornig, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Myunghee Cho Paik, Ivan Wick, Ashlee Bennett, Omar Jabado, David L. Hirschberg, W. Ian Lipkin. Impaired Carbohydrate Digestion and Transport and Mucosal Dysbiosis in the Intestines of Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Disturbances. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (9): e24585 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024585

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms have altered digestive genes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110917082721.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2011, September 18). Children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms have altered digestive genes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110917082721.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms have altered digestive genes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110917082721.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins