Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elevated gluten antibodies found in children with autism

Date:
June 20, 2013
Source:
Columbia University Medical Center
Summary:
Elevated antibodies to gluten proteins of wheat found in children with autism in comparison to those without autism. Results from a new study also indicated an association between the elevated antibodies and the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms in the affected children. They did not find any connection, however, between the elevated antibodies and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder known to be triggered by gluten.

Researchers have found elevated antibodies to gluten proteins of wheat in children with autism in comparison to those without autism. The results also indicated an association between the elevated antibodies and the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms in the affected children. They did not find any connection, however, between the elevated antibodies and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder known to be triggered by gluten. The results were e-published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Gluten, a group of more than 70 proteins in wheat and related grains, consists of gliadins and glutenins. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that negatively affects communication and social interaction. Although the mechanisms that cause autism are poorly understood, there is mounting evidence that the immune system plays a role in a subset of patients. In addition, autistic children commonly have gastrointestinal symptoms. In recent years, diets that exclude gluten have become increasingly popular in the autism community. The effectiveness of such diets, however, has not been confirmed in controlled and blinded studies.

The study, headed by Armin Alaedini, PhD, assistant professor of medical sciences (in the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Human Nutrition) at Columbia University Medical Center, looked at blood samples and medical records of 140 children. Thirty-seven of the children were diagnosed with autism and the rest were unaffected siblings or healthy control subjects. To increase diagnostic accuracy, only patients identified as having autism according to two well-recognized diagnostic instruments, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and the Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised, were selected. The blood samples were tested for antibodies to tissue transglutaminase, a sensitive and specific marker of celiac disease, as well as antibodies to gliadin. The patients also were tested for genes encoding certain human leukocyte antigens, which are strongly associated with celiac disease.

"This is the first study to systematically look at serologic and genetic markers of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in such well-characterized cohorts of autism patients and controls," said Peter H. R. Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center and one of the study authors. "But the findings need to be confirmed in larger cohorts."

The authors suggest that further research is needed to understand the relevance of the described antibodies in autism. "The IgG antibody response to gluten does not necessarily indicate sensitivity to gluten or any disease-causing role for the antibodies in the context of autism," said Dr. Alaedini. "But the higher levels of antibody to gluten and their association with gastrointestinal symptoms point to immunologic and/or intestinal permeability abnormalities in the affected children." Dr. Alaedini noted that a better understanding of the immune response to gluten may yield novel clues about autism or offer biomarkers to identify a subset of patients that would respond to certain treatment strategies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nga M. Lau, Peter H. R. Green, Annette K. Taylor, Dan Hellberg, Mary Ajamian, Caroline Z. Tan, Barry E. Kosofsky, Joseph J. Higgins, Anjali M. Rajadhyaksha, Armin Alaedini. Markers of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e66155 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066155

Cite This Page:

Columbia University Medical Center. "Elevated gluten antibodies found in children with autism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620132144.htm>.
Columbia University Medical Center. (2013, June 20). Elevated gluten antibodies found in children with autism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620132144.htm
Columbia University Medical Center. "Elevated gluten antibodies found in children with autism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620132144.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
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