Autism is the part of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which is basically a genetically determined neurodevelopmental brain disorder. Autism is characterized by repetitive patterns of behavior, problems of social communication and social interaction, interests as well as activities. ASD is clinically recognized before the age of 3 years. Factors such as maternal genetics and the environmental factors which affect the mother during and before the pregnancy seem to play a role in the development of ASD. The fact that more boys have autism than girls with the ratio of 4:1 is proven but the reason is still unknown. In children with ASD certain immune deregulation appears to entertain inflammation and it can be linked to gastrointestinal issues.
- Autism linked to the Immune System
ASD tends to appear in the stages of critical neurodevelopment. There is a close relationship between the nervous and the immune system which gives chances for the immune deregulation. The great risk of developing this disorder in children is during the first and the second trimester of pregnancy. People who suffer from autism have inflammatory cytokines in their brains and activation of microglia. Microglia is a type of immune cell which resides in the brain in excessive amount. The increased inflammation may result in various types of allergies, asthma, gastro-intestinal deregulation, etc. The antibodies which are directed against the brain proteins in the bodies of mothers and children can cause autism.
- Autism linked to Gastro-intestinal dysfunction
Children with ASD may have gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation apart from immune alterations. Recent studies show the link between autism and GI deregulation due to the factors like inflammation of the intestine, immunoglobulin (E mediated or cell-mediated) GI food allergies, gluten-related food disorders, wheat allergy and gastro-esophageal reflux. Treating autism and GI disorders as an overlap syndrome may help in identifying the children with ASD suffering through alimentary tract disease. There are chances that GI symptoms may overlap the ASD symptoms due to different types of mechanisms. Behavior such as anxiety, self-injury, sleep deprivation, aggression should alert the professionals about the possibility of autism-linked with GI. This may reduce the time required for diagnosis and treatment could be commenced sooner.
- Nutritional problems of children suffering from Autism
Children with autism are picky about their food sometimes, they avoid food of a particular color or consistency which may lead to nutritional problems. When compared to the healthy children, inadequate intake of vitamins such as A and D as well as calcium was noted in children suffering from autism. Pediatricians should monitor the intake nutrients of the patients regularly. The nutrients should meet the complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) which are given to the children suffering from ASD. The parents should discuss the CAM therapies with the professionals to avoid any side effects from the medicines.
- Therapeutic Measures
There is no cure for autism for now, but there are certain treatments which may help to improve the life of the patients. There are treatments which are focusing on improving the dysfunctions which are observed in autism. Taking of proper probiotics can help in the proper functioning of the digestive system which includes suppressing of gluten from the meals. The therapies such as micro-immunotherapy can help in the regulation of the immune system of the individual suffering from autism. The therapies can be of great help in the optimization of the functions of the mitochondria.
To determine autism and the link with the immune system and gastro-intestinal deregulation there is furthermore way to go and more work is needed to find out the extent of this link. Contact us for more information.
Source : UCDMC