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One Key to Autism Found in the Gut Microbiome
From:
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Wednesday, July 10, 2024

 

The search for not simply a diagnostic test for autism but a potential source for it or a highly effective resolution is now aimed in a new direction.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Autism Spectrum Disorder remains a serious developmental and mental difference that has plagued children for millennia but is only now receiving new research attention that may prove to hold the key to its inception, potential prevention, and effective treatment.

Previously, inadequate knowledge of the syndrome was present in evaluating children for autism, and parents were advised to wait until the child was three. At that time, unfortunately, there was a belief that remediation could only be minimal, and parents were left to suffer the consequences along with the child.

Also, formerly and unfortunately, mothers were viewed as the site of serious mental problems with children, such as autism and schizophrenia. But, gone are the days of the "refrigerator mother," who was depicted as withdrawing and unavailable to her child for their needs.

In the early 1950s, a psychiatrist from Austria named Leo Kanner developed the Refrigerator Mother Theory. Kanner was one of the first people to say that autism was a separate illness. He noticed that many children with autism came from homes that did not seem to care about them personally, which made him think that a lack of maternal warmth might be a cause of the disorder.

In the last twenty to thirty years, the study of autism has changed a great deal. Gone are the hurtful and pointless efforts to “cure” autism—the medicalized, depersonalized methods that saw autistic people as things that needed to be treated.

Also gone is the controversial and discredited method of teaching autistic kids to hide the fact that they are autistic by using behavior modification tactics. But even as autism spectrum syndrome was receiving acceptance as a difference and not a disorder, the search for its nexus continued.

Now, we may be on the verge of making new advances regarding the body that are outside of neurology and entering a world of difference: the gut microbiome. Our bodies are home to many organisms that live in harmony with us. We both gain from the relationship.

Furthermore, these helpful microbes help keep dangerous ones in check and contribute to our physical and mental health in ways we never dreamed of. We are now beginning to appreciate the fact that this rich and varied environment also affects our neurology and our mental development, as well as the emotional aspects of our lives. Changing your food can change your mood and happiness. Eating more fat and carbs is linked to anxiety and depression while eating less of them is linked to a more diverse gut microbiome.

Neurobiological studies have also revealed some of the pathology related to ASD. Thanks to analyses, we know more about how cells and circuits in the brain change in people with ASD. By finding and confirming drivers high in both rare and common genetic risk variants, a link was found between genes that make people more likely to have autism and molecular and cellular pathways and circuits.

The Latest Findings

Most of the research has focused on how gut bacteria differ in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, recently, scientists have learned that archaea, fungi, viruses, and other tiny creatures in our gut are also important for how our gut and brain talk to each other. However, not many people have looked into these in terms of autism.

The most recent research examined bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses. These species were found in the guts of over 1,600 kids from five groups. Researchers also examined what these germs do in the gut.

Children with autism had different kinds and amounts of archaea, fungi, and viruses than children without autism. These bacteria also had different jobs to do. So, if you want to learn more about autism, it might be helpful to look at more than just germs in the gut.

The gut microbiome, until recently, was an ignored or neglected area of research, and now that we have opened that door, the potential is incredible. Not only are we learning that emotions may be affected by the gut microbiome, but almost every aspect of our lives is touched by it. The importance of diet, therefore, cannot be overemphasized and must be approached almost as a new way of providing medication to a body that needs help.

Even the role of vitamin D has been explored in terms of diet and autism spectrum disorder. The results show that low amounts of vitamin D may play a part in the cause and severity of autism.

Extensive research into the gut microbiome has revealed a new research gateway, which is exciting and promising. It gives hope to many who thought their quest was hopeless.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

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Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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