Researchers have identified a unique blood marker that shows a link between gut bacteria and autism in some children diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder.
- The study provides more evidence that abnormal bacteria found in the gut of many children with autism produce a waste product that is carried in the bloodstream, affecting organ systems including the brain and, in turn, behaviour.
- MacFabe says the new research is significant because it uncovers an important link between problems related to digestion, immune systems, metabolic problems and behaviour among some children with autism.
- It also indicates there was no genetic factor causing the abnormal energy metabolism, and points to an environmental trigger.
- “This paper shows we think environmental factors could play a much more major role than was previously thought,” he said.
- The researchers tracked 213 children with autism and found 17 per cent of them had consistently abnormal levels of the unique blood markers and evidence of abnormal cell energy function.