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Gut Microbes Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the with-a-little-help-from-my-bacteria-friends dept.

Medicine 160

sciencehabit writes "Many physicians and parents report that their autistic children have unusually severe gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic constipation or diarrhea. These observations have led some researchers to speculate that an ailing gut contributes to the disorder in some cases, but scientific data has been lacking. Now, a provocative study claims that a probiotic treatment for gastrointestinal issues can reduce autismlike symptoms in mice and suggests that this treatment could work for humans, too."

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Nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617255)

Nonsense, it's obviously the vaccines! That chick that appeared on Playboy said so!

Re:Nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617277)

That chick that appeared on Playboy said so!

Playboy, you say? I'd let her vaccinate me

Re:Nonsense! (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45617303)

That chick that appeared on Playboy said so!

Playboy, you say? I'd let her vaccinate me

As a nerd I assume that "Playboy" is some playbook-gameboy hybrid?

No Playboy on your Playbook (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45619043)

Playboy: Entertainment for Men is a monthly magazine that's essentially The New Yorker with more pictures of naked women. Nintendo would never allow that sort of nudity on its platform. I just checked App World, and Playboy doesn't appear in the magazines section, nor does Playboy appear to have a Kindle edition. Feel free to prove me wrong though.

Re:Nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618225)

No No... it's YOU who will have to inject HER with YOUR vaccination. Nerd. ;)

Re:Nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618287)

Maybe he wants to be pegged.

Re:Nonsense! (5, Interesting)

glavenoid (636808) | about 10 months ago | (#45617283)

Imagine the implications of an autism vaccine.

Re:Nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617623)

It'd be like dividing by zero!

Re:Nonsense! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617677)

It would utterly devastate Minecraft's player base.

Re:Nonsense! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#45618045)

;D

Re:Nonsense! (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 10 months ago | (#45618309)

There's already a good lead that amino acid supplementation may cure a certain rare form of autism [sciencemag.org] , but there are many different causes. It's important to note that the study wasn't done on humans (research ongoing), and the type presents with intellectual disability (retardation) and epilepsy.

So the above doesn't actually treat "autism", it treats certain debilitating aspects of it. The personality nuances may still be intact after treatment, we don't know for sure yet.

In the study we're discussing now, "autism-like" was a good choice of words. We're not actually certain the mice had autism: they simply displayed symptoms that scientists concluded were autistic.

In the end autism isn't studied enough to make any definite conclusions about anything. On a more philosophical note, however, imagine if there were an introvert vaccine that turned introverts into extroverts. Perhaps we're closing in on a point where we can alter people's personalities, which has some wide implications for the penal and mental health systems.

Re:Nonsense! (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45617321)

Nonsense, it's obviously the vaccines! That chick that appeared on Playboy said so!

Don't worry, she'll go on national TV and apologize for all the harm she's done then spend the rest of her life making restitution.

Re:Nonsense! (5, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 10 months ago | (#45618115)

Didn't you hear? She cured her son's autism using a gluten-free diet and some other nonsense that you can probably read about in her book. Yes, Playboy Model cures a developmental disorder that scientists don't even have a complete understanding for yet. She must be a genius!

[end sarcasm]

(Disclaimer: Both my son and I have Asperger's Syndrome/High Functioning Autism and claims that someone is going to "cure" me or my son are just insulting. A treatment to alleviate symptoms for the folks on the "low functioning" end of the spectrum maybe, but curing someone implies that there's something wrong with that person and I don't see Autism as "wrong", just as a different way of thinking - one that happens to come in very handy at times.)

Re:Nonsense! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618767)

OK robot boy, whatever you say. The fact remains, you have autism and you do need to be cured. Report for your vaccination at 0800 or the Obama youth corps will be by shortly to come collect you for reassignment to the nearest FEMA facility.

Re:Nonsense! (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 10 months ago | (#45618905)

Word. My daughter and I are aspies, and I see no reason for a "cure." That being said, the autism spectrum is pretty broad, and anything that could help alleviate the more severe issues associated with it would be tremendously beneficial.

Controlling your autism may help you land a job (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45619069)

My daughter and I are aspies, and I see no reason for a "cure."

Other than perhaps widespread discrimination by interviewers against people who show symptoms during the interview?

Re:Nonsense! (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 10 months ago | (#45619049)

Playboy Model cures a developmental disorder that scientists don't even have a complete understanding for yet. She must be a genius!

If she has a book full of easy-to-follow pictures, I'd probably skim it.
You know, just for the medical value.

Re:Nonsense! (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 10 months ago | (#45619053)

My son who is autistic started talking and became much more relaxed after cutting milk out of his diet. This was when he was in grade 1 and had only a couple of words and often became disruptive enough in class that he needed 2 strong men to remove him from class.
Afterwards the odd time when someone did feed him diary I could tell right away by how he was acting out. Eventually his IQ also went from 80 to 120 except in communicating (speech and writing) where it stayed at 80. Not a cure but it sure improved his capabilities and functioning.
Note that ethnically he is of stock that has no lactose digesting history so like the majority of people in the world should only have minimal diary anyways.

Re:Nonsense! (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 10 months ago | (#45617985)

If autism turns out to have a microbial cause, the actual treatment might be a vaccine. If this happens, would anti-tech hippie heads explode?

Re:Nonsense! (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 10 months ago | (#45619233)

Well the original theory was that the combination of 3 live vaccines given to the very young overloaded part of their immune system and screwed up their guts. The fix at the time was considered to be splitting up the MMR vaccine into 3 shots spread out a bit in time. I was quite interested as my son was one of the children who coincidently stopped talking and started acting different in the week following his second MMR shot. I'll also note he has had very rank farts most of his life.
Later the weirdos with their mercury fetish became very vocal.

What about self-diagnosed aspie slashdotters? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617257)

They may need to find some other disorder to explain their anti-social behaviour and make them feel special.

Re:What about self-diagnosed aspie slashdotters? (4, Funny)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 10 months ago | (#45617367)

I was just thinking that too ...

Chill man, just have some yogurt.

great drug/hospital megacorps vs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617261)

vitamin and supplement megacorps, how can we loose in this battle?
Two hyperprofitable concerns vying for the last few dollars of desperate parents.
I feel a shit coming on right now...

Re:great drug/hospital megacorps vs. (1)

game kid (805301) | about 10 months ago | (#45617275)

Activiaaaaa...

common threads (1)

tstur (38065) | about 10 months ago | (#45617273)

Reminds me of when illness/death comes from some bad source of food and impacts a swath of people. It's always interested me to know how quickly and by what process the source is discovered. I know that when I feel weird and suspect bad food it's a bit of a challenge to think absolutely thoroughly back through every last thing I ate over the past X hours/days. I wonder if there are many other common threads such as this that might yield clues if researchers had more complete knowledge of every person with a particular condition including things that people may never mention thinking it isn't relevant or important.

Re:common threads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617315)

Perhaps the NSA can help with that?

Re:common threads (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617379)

The thing is that if it's gut microbes, then good food will cause problems too. It will depend exactly what the bacteria's preferred food source is though. And toxins from bacteria in your stomach can absolutely affect your mood and ability to function.

Re:common threads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617381)

How many bacteria are there in your stomach?

Re:common threads (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 10 months ago | (#45617395)

Depends.

Do you have an ulcer?

Re:common threads (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617441)

Probably quite a lot through the course of the day, though I suppose a lot of them might die in that environment. I guess I should have said "gut", then. When I say "stomach" I'm often referring to the whole intestinal area, the same as someone might say "lie on your stomach", when in fact they mean your belly..

Re:common threads (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45617503)

The thing is that if it's gut microbes, then good food will cause problems too.

I'll just leave [wikipedia.org] this [wikipedia.org] here. And over there, and there, and some over there, and some in the air... Of course, that's a virus, not bacteria, but the principle is the same. What's in the food can feed or kill off what's in your gut already, or the food can be contaminated, and the contamination can outcompete or otherwise interfere with the biota upon which you depend for proper digestive function. Either one can wreak havoc on your digestive system. And let us not forget antibiotics' influence on your GI tract. As we have produced greater numbers of more antibiotic-resistant bacteria through their overuse and misuse, we've led to more widespread and common use of the kind of antibiotics that are equivalent to the nuclear option when it comes to your intestines.

Re:common threads (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617403)

They make people take a "food diary" when they think there's some sort of dietary involvement in a problem. You write down everything you consume so that you don't have to remember what you had in the three days before that migraine or outbreak of stomach cramps, or whatever. Could be interesting to blanket-issue food diaries and health questionnaires to a large population.

Re:common threads (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 10 months ago | (#45617979)

The problem with food diaries is that some disorders take a long time to manifest, and a long time to clear up.

I have a sibling who suffered from chronic diarrhea for most of his adult life. It turned out he had undiagnosed celiac disease (inability for his digestive system to tolerate gluten from grains). He had tried a gluten free diet for weeks at a time many times just as an experiment, and it didn't help. It turns out that some celiac suffers need to eat fanatically gluten free (including using separate pots, pans, plates, and utensils from those that touch any form of gluten) for over six months before the symptoms improve.

He had done food diaries many times, desperate to have normal digestion, but it didn't help because of course having excellent records of what you ate yesterday or last week doesn't help if you need to make a change for half a year before it has any impact.

Re:common threads (2)

cusco (717999) | about 10 months ago | (#45618179)

I suspect you'll see a lot of the same phenomena that Neilson Ratings used to encounter, where people wrote down that they had watched a National Geographic documentary instead of the 'The Man Show' that they actually watched. Probably the count of diary-noted rice cakes would exceed the number of rice cakes manufactured by an order of magnitude.

How can you tell an autistic mouse? (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 10 months ago | (#45617311)

Does it want to watch Wapner? Can it count cards? We need to come up with a better way of testing stuff out than on mice.

Re:How can you tell an autistic mouse? (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617327)

Mazmanian and colleagues at Caltech used a mouse model of autism that is thought to approximately recreate three of the disorder's hallmark deficits: lack of social interaction, decreased communication (mice normally emit ultrasonic, birdsonglike chirps), and repetitive behaviors such as compulsive grooming or burying marbles.

They discovered increased levels of a particular bacterial metabolite in untreated autism-model mice versus normal mice or treated autism-model mice. Interestingly providing that metabolite to healthy mice increased anxiety but didn't cause any of the characteristic autistic symptoms.

Re:How can you tell an autistic mouse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617355)

So everyone in a hospital that is sick, that as result feels like crap has Autism then? Largely the same symtoms after all lol.

Re:How can you tell an autistic mouse? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45618165)

No, but if they are feeling sick and generally like crap they may have some more autism like symptoms, until they get better.
However Anxiety often called butterflies in your stomach for a reason. You feel a little stress and your body reacts to the stress which then feed backs to the brain and escalates it.

Now if you have Gut Bacteria (which we all do and for the most part it is a good thing) but your particular unique combination tends to react harder when you feel a little stress then it could cause the anxiety reflex. Other people they may still get the same initial stress but their bacteria mixture in their body doesn't react to it the same way and stops the feedback problem.

If this idea is truly the case in humans, then we may be able to treat autism with a mixture of antibiotics and probiotics to kill of the bad bacteria and add some good ones.

Re:How can you tell an autistic mouse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617371)

I agree. I'd be all for testing on prisoners. Being serious.

Re:How can you tell an autistic mouse? (3, Funny)

amalcolm (1838434) | about 10 months ago | (#45617405)

Feed pro-biotic yoghurt to criminals? Oh man, that is HARSH!

Re:How can you tell an autistic mouse? (1)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | about 10 months ago | (#45617971)

Oh, it's not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody.

Load of BS as usual about autism. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617333)

Autism is genetic and is also influenced / is a function of the environment they are brought up in, The real disease is the need for parents to label it as a disease in order to blame it on something other than themselves, always has been and always will be generally speaking, I have it, so I speak from experience, Same goes for ADHD, which I have as well. Autism from my mum's side of the family and severe ADHD from my dad's side.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617387)

Autism is genetic and is also influenced / is a function of the environment they are brought up in

Did you consider that it might not be passed on through DNA at all, and completely is a result of the environment, including the bacteria that your mum's side of the family have in their body? Or perhaps your DNA makes you more susceptible to these bacteria. I've been trying to figure out how exactly food affects my mood and behaviour for a while now..

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617419)

Did you consider that it might not be passed on through DNA at all, and completely is a result of the environment,

I would be inclined to say that you do not know a lot of people with a history of Autism in the family.

As I said, it is genetic, but is also environmental, It can be from a singular source, genetic or environmental. At the end of the day it is about how the brain is wired, Its psychological at is its foundation. Eat healthy and have a varied diet, keep away from the junk / fast and sugar filled foods, drink lots of water etc. Plus a good amount of contructive socialising is the best recommendation.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617497)

Sure, that's what science "knows" about it so far, but the idea that gut bacteria are a deciding factor also fits perfectly along with your "genetic or environmental" concept. If all you have is a hammer (genetics, environmental observation) then everything looks like a nail. Maybe there's more to it than bacteria, but the chemicals that we put into our body very obviously can affect behaviour and mental state.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617531)

Maybe there's more to it than bacteria, but the chemicals that we put into our body very obviously can affect behaviour and mental state.

I agree with you on that, and I think that is what the study was showing. But the idea that gut bacteria is a cause of Autism as some may construe from the article is misleading.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45617949)

At the end of the day it is about how the brain is wired, Its psychological at is its foundation.

If it's about how the brain is wired, then it's neurological, not psychological. Autism is generally classified as a neurological disorder.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 10 months ago | (#45618321)

Actually, Autism is a developmental disorder. For example, my son with Asperger's Syndrome/High Functioning Autism is ten years old. Socially, though, he's about six. (Coincidentally, the same age as his younger, neurotypical brother.) Intellectually, though, he's about 12 so teaching him can be very challenging. He'll grasp concepts quickly, get bored, and engage in socially inappropriate behaviors that someone years younger than he is would consider funny. (Thankfully, many of his peers understand about his Autism. Wish I could say the same about all of his teachers.)

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about 10 months ago | (#45617751)

Environmental bacteria might not be the only factor, bit I think gut bacteria is indeed worth looking into. I remembered an article [nature.com] I read a few weeks ago about infants possibly suppressing their immune systems to let in "good" gut bacteria. Well, what if they also let in some not so good gut bacteria that leads to Autism? Doesn't Autism usually start to show during very early childhood?

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618589)

There was a documentary on autism (forgot it's name unfortunately) which was on the same lines as this study. One interesting point was the possible connection between antibiotics and autism; kill the good gut bacteria and you give hold to the bad one which basically produces a neurotoxin. Then again an autistic child supposedly got better when he was put on some heavy duty antibiotics (vancomycin I think), but unfortunately the bad bacteria had the ability to lie dormant so it would just keep coming back.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617407)

Do you have a third parent that made you a dick?

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617445)

Speaking from experience there I see, I speak from the experience of someone how has Autism and know a lot of people with Autism. Sorry but I do not speak from experience in being a dick like you.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 10 months ago | (#45617995)

A common symptom of autism is a lack of tact. So the rude delivery of their pronouncement might back up their claim to be autistic.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617439)

Yes you are a load of BS(Said so yourself) and many parents are not labeling it as a disease. Plus there are to many recovery stories out there to discount. Speaking of environment where are the 1 in 66 or 1 in 100 Amish or indigenus kids? This study is so far behind it is a joke. The parents recovering their kids from the "SYMPTOMS" that "OTHERS" label as Autism and ADHD have been using probiotics and other biomedical protocols and treatments for a long time to get gut and other issues under control so that their children can function and develop properly. My son would not be as far along as he is now without various biomed treatments. He would still be spinning like a top half the day flapping like a bird the other half, making no eye contact and eating one or 2 food choices. His apgar was 9 he hit all his milestones till age two, had good eye contact, huggable etc. Then poof within a matter of a few months he was gone into ASD PDD hell. Recovering children from ASD and ADHD is hard for sure but would be much easier and the "LABEL" would probably not even exist if the world did not have so many Assholes like you.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617499)

You are re-enforcing, what I said about it being environmental, It is good that you are making progress.

From my experience as I have said before in general, its genetic and or environmental, in your sons case it is evidently largely environmental, which are you addressing, so good for you.

The reason for my strong opinion, is that there is a history of Autism being blamed on whatever is convenient to blame it on, rather than addressing the real issues, which when you get down to it, is about supporting the person in question, so they are more able to interact with people on a normal level.

I am not the asshole, the real assholes are the parents who do not provide the required support to their kids and their answer to their kids behavioural issues is to keep them constantly duped up on ritalin and always look to blame it on something, rather than providing a healthier environment for their kids.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45618293)

its genetic and or environmental ... there is a history of Autism being blamed on whatever is convenient to blame it on

Which is it? Is autism a real neurological condition, caused by genetic and/or environmental factors, or is it a BS diagnosis used to excuse poor parenting?

there is a history of Autism being blamed on whatever is convenient to blame it on, rather than addressing the real issues, which when you get down to it, is about supporting the person in question, so they are more able to interact with people on a normal level

So having autism per se isn't a real issue? It's not neurological? Or is it such a mild neurological condition that the only "real issue" is "supporting the person in question"?

Your autism is mild. It may cause you anxiety, social difficulties and whatnot, but so can a million other things. If the spectrum went no further than your level, it would be a diagnosis of questionable value, and it wouldn't be more troublesome, or more difficult to treat than anxiety, social difficulties (oops, disorder), etc., not associated with an autism diagnosis.

Don't talk about your situation as though it had much to do with severe autism though - the kind where many of its sufferers can't speak, may have compulsions so severe that they cause severe bodily harm to themselves, and can never be left unsupervised. Comparing your condition to that is like comparing feeling a little blue to being so depressed you're about to jump off a bridge. Stop acting as though your situation allows you to speak authoritatively about the entire autism spectrum.

I am not the asshole, the real assholes are the parents who do not provide the required support to their kids and their answer to their kids behavioural issues is to keep them constantly duped up on ritalin and always look to blame it on something, rather than providing a healthier environment for their kids.

Whose experience are you talking about? If it's yours, then unless you were seriously abused and neglected, stop feeling sorry for yourself and blaming your parents for all your problems. If you're talking about others, I find it hard to take it seriously. "They're bad parents" is the oldest catch-all way to explain what you don't understand. With autism "blame the parents" has a particularly illustrious history, dating back to the old, damn science and pull a "psychological explanation" out of your ass, refrigerator mom theory.

their answer to their kids behavioural issues is to keep them constantly duped up on ritalin

Ritalin is generally used to treat ADHD, not autism. Risperidone is the most common pharmaceutical treatment, and also the only medication for which autism symptom treatment is an on-label use.

It would be nice if you used some name other than "Anonymous Coward" if you want to participate in protracted debates. If you're the OP though, and claim to also have an ADHD diagnosis, I agree that ADHD is a very questionable and certainly wildly overused diagnosis. Hence its "treatment" is often questionable. ADHD is not autism.

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617599)

Yes you are a load of BS(Said so yourself) and many parents are not labeling it as a disease. Plus there are to many recovery stories out there to discount. Speaking of environment where are the 1 in 66 or 1 in 100 Amish or indigenus kids? This study is so far behind it is a joke. The parents recovering their kids from the "SYMPTOMS" that "OTHERS" label as Autism and ADHD have been using probiotics and other biomedical protocols and treatments for a long time to get gut and other issues under control so that their children can function and develop properly. My son would not be as far along as he is now without various biomed treatments. He would still be spinning like a top half the day flapping like a bird the other half, making no eye contact and eating one or 2 food choices. His apgar was 9 he hit all his milestones till age two, had good eye contact, huggable etc. Then poof within a matter of a few months he was gone into ASD PDD hell.

Was he given mercury-laced vaccinations [imdb.com] ?

Re: Load of BS as usual about autism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618197)

That theory had been debunked for a while now. Only the flu vaccine still contains it and it is optional. Guess what? Autism still exists. Many studies have shown it to be a non-issue. As always, poison is in the dose. And don't eat any apples! They contain cyanide!

Re:Load of BS as usual about autism. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 10 months ago | (#45618281)

I think the need to label it as coming from Vaccines/antibiotics/whatever also comes from the lack of control parents feel as well. Their child isn't developing "normally" and, if it is genetics, they would have been unable to have stopped or prevented this. If the problem is that vaccines (or some other completely unproven factor) is to blame then if they only did X or didn't do Y, their kid would be "normal" and they can "help" other parents by advocating for/against that thing.

There's a post going around social media (that I refuse to link to) called "How I gave my child autism" where the author blames herself for all of the things she did which "gave" her child autism from ultrasounds to vaccines to having a C-Section. The level of woo in that post is very high as the author seems determined to make Jenny McCarthy look scientific in nature.

In my case, we got the diagnosis on Asperger's Syndrome/High Functioning Autism on our oldest son after years of trying to figure out what was going on with him. As we read book after book on Asperger's Syndrome, I realized these books were describing me as well. I haven't been diagnosed mainly because 1) it costs money we can't afford to spend, and 2) my diagnosis won't help my son at all. Still, I'm convinced that I have Asperger's Syndrome and "gave" it to my son via genetics. (Yes, I went through a period of feeling guilty for this even though I knew intellectually that this wasn't something where there was blame to assign.)

On the subject of the gut bacteria issue, my guess is that discomfort from the gut bacteria problem exacerbates autism symptoms. Treating the gut bacteria issue doesn't cure autism, but does reduce discomfort which lets people with autism cope with the neurotypical world better. To neurotypicals, this looks like autism is being cured when it's just being "hidden" better.

Interesting findings, for the lazy (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617337)

Firstly, they discovered that the autistic-model mouse had very different gut biota and suffered from digestive tract issues. The new bacterium didn't establish itself, but it did perturb the gut bacteria community to be closer to control mice, and reduced digestive tract issues.

Secondly, they discovered that this perturbation reduced the autism-model symptoms in the autism-model mice quite markedly.

Thirdly, they discovered a gut metabolite that was elevated in untreated autism-model mice versus control mice or treated autism-model mice. However providing that metabolite to control mice only caused an increase in anxiety behaviours, and not the specific autistic ones. So it's not just the metabolite which is responsible for the behaviours.

I wonder if there's some underlying difference in the neurology of the autism-model mice such that the metabolite "sets off" the autism-model behaviours rather than anxiety. Or perhaps the metabolite causes anxiety in both communities but the anxiety only then "sets off" the autism-model behaviours in the autism-model mice.

Re:Interesting findings, for the lazy (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617409)

I wonder if there's some underlying difference in the neurology of the autism-model mice such that the metabolite "sets off" the autism-model behaviours rather than anxiety. Or perhaps the metabolite causes anxiety in both communities but the anxiety only then "sets off" the autism-model behaviours in the autism-model mice.

Is it not the case that the metabolite is necessary for the problem bacteria to replicate - but that the healthy mice don't have these bacteria in the first place, so introducing it won't have the same effect?

Re:Interesting findings, for the lazy (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617421)

That's an interesting hypothesis, but the only bacterium they controlled for was one that helps not one that was causing any problems.

Re:Interesting findings, for the lazy (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617463)

Yep, but the one that helps disrupted the already established bacteria, probably by reducing their supply chain. The fact that this chemical was elevated 48 time above normal levels in the autistic mice suggests that it's produced by the "bad" bacteria somehow.

Re:Interesting findings, for the lazy (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617501)

On the other hand it's entirely possible that it's produced by the "good" bacteria and metabolised away by other good bacteria, and what's important is the balance. It simply hasn't been evaluated either way.

Re:Interesting findings, for the lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617461)

The parents Recovering their children from the "symptoms" that others have "Labeled" as autism would tell you it is like peeling layers of an onion. When you get one issue under control like the gut it then uncovers or allows other suppressed issues to come to the surface i.e a child may start out with a straight forward "Autism" label. Then after several different treatment methods they may evaluate as PDD NOS and then if they have a break through and get evaluated again they would be "LABELED" Aspergers or ADHD. A poster on one message board that was up for a long time likened it to recovering from being hit by a bus. There is no "cure" for being hit by a bus, just various levels of recovery.

Re:Interesting findings, for the lazy (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 10 months ago | (#45618491)

I like this line of thinking.

It's very likely that people with ASD are far more susceptible to anxiety and depression disorders, but this might be due to the ludicrous amount of bullying autistic children receive (38% in this study over a single month) [lww.com] .

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617383)

A book/diet that was, and still is to some extent, far far ahead of its time is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/) by Elaine Gottschall. It not only addresses the role bacteria plays in autism, downs, etc but also in a whole range of Irritable Bowl Diseases, of which one I suffer from (ulcerative colitis).

buying this book and following the instructions saved my life (well, at least my colon). the key is to stay on the diet 100% of the time. after a month or so on the diet i was able to ditch the immune suppresant drug medication cold turkey (much to the dismay of Big Pharma I suppose). Imuran and the like (Prograf, humura, remicade) are really toxic shit.

the biggest battle, believe it or not, was with the doctors who insisted i stay on the medication. they did not understand that an imbalance in gut bacteria can trigger an immune response and also be responsible for a whole host of other problems. they know there is a connection between the brain and gut but they categorize it as some sort of voodoo science and leave it up to homeopathy to address. they didnt even mention a diet once.

so it appears a giant re-education effort is needed in the medical community as well. but this will take some time. doctors can be breathtaking assholes when they dont know or understand something. of course a doctor would rather prescribe meds then telling a patient to stop eating foods bad for them.

unfortunately, the patient would rather take the meds as well.

Re: Specific Carbohydrate Diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617447)

Ulcerative colitis is not an "irritable bowl(sic)" condition. It is an inflammatory bowel disease and precancerous condition which can kill if not treated properly. You have a right to do what you want with your own body but your anecdote needs countered.

Re: Specific Carbohydrate Diet (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45617655)

Irritation causes inflammation. It might appear to be a disease if you can't figure out what is causing the irritation.

Re: Specific Carbohydrate Diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618817)

There is no evidence that irritation plays any part in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And, by definition, there is no inflammation. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a completely different entity and ignorant quacks like the OP explain why people still die from this treatable condition.

Re: Specific Carbohydrate Diet (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#45619137)

It's not ignorant to think that food plays a role in bowel problems. There are many recognised conditions that are aggravated by certain foods.. so to think that simply taking a pill, but continuing to eat any old shit is a good way to treat it.. that's pretty a pretty ignorant way of looking at it.

Going on a low carbohydrate diet a few years ago (to lose weight) cleared up several other problems that I wouldn't have even related to diet at the time (such as my nose almost always being irritated and blocked).

I don't need to lose any weight right now, but after reading this thread, I'm thinking I'll go back to no carb again for a while and see how it affects me.

Re:Specific Carbohydrate Diet (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about 10 months ago | (#45617691)

It not only addresses the role bacteria plays in autism, downs, etc

Daft question: If she has all the answers - why is there research still being done?

Gut bacteria? Probably a bunch of crap (0, Flamebait)

benjfowler (239527) | about 10 months ago | (#45617425)

"Probiotic" is the little Shibboleth that makes this smell like woo.

I'm reminded of a whole mountain of crackpottery peddled by violently unethical shysters and borderline criminal pseudoscientists, for private profit.

Re:Gut bacteria? Probably a bunch of crap (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45617475)

"Probiotic" is the little Shibboleth that makes this smell like woo.

If poop transplants [wikipedia.org] can drastically improve health, why couldn't regulating your digestive system with probiotics? Yogurt is a probiotic. It has proven related health benefits. You're FUDding. Are you invested in Big Pharma? Or are you just being a dick?

Re:Gut bacteria? Probably a bunch of crap (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 10 months ago | (#45617509)

Poe.

#badbios - probing for deeper looks at (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617429)

@Clive Robinson

A lot of people are wondering why dragosr was the only one to run across this malware. In fact, he wasn't. The people who were before him were mocked and most threads closed and either deleted or shuffled to areas of message boards where Joe Q public couldn't see it and question this for themselves. [some] Major Anti-Virus companies included.

Users didn't want to know, companies didn't want to know. Unless you were "known" in the field, like dragosr, and even then, you are handled like you may be retarded or just need a vacation.

Here is one of dozens of reports:

LCD Monitor Broadcasts Noise To Radio! Why? (FRS)
http://forums.radioreference.com/computer/255488-lcd-monitor-broadcasts-noise-radio-why.html [radioreference.com]

Final post in that thread:

"BOTTOM LINE: No matter WHAT you do, all devices that use electricity will emit some sort of interference in the air and there's nothing you can do about it without unplugging/turning it off. "

including:

"Have you noticed any nondescript white vans or black helicopters in your neighborhood?

What do you do or have you done to make "them" take such an interest in you that "they" have to bug you?

You need a bigger tinfoil hat, perhaps a full body suit."

Another thread:

Gpu based paravirtualization rootkit, all os vulne

http://forum.sysinternals.com/gpu-based-paravirtualization-rootkit-all-os-vulne_topic26706.html [sysinternals.com]

This:

U.N. report reveals secret law enforcement techniques

"Point 201: Mentions a new covert communications technique using software defined high frequency radio receivers routed through the computer creating no logs, using no central server and extremely difficult for law enforcement to intercept."

http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes.pdf [unodc.org]

http://www.hacker10.com/other-computing/u-n-report-reveals-secret-law-enforcement-techniques/ [hacker10.com]

I think this is something which has been brewing for years, but "forces" beyond our sight have managed to stifle any serious investigation into the technology. Some have announced they are retreating to ancient technology of the 70's and 80's, others are looking towards open source hardware and software combinations.

Is it time Wireshark included audio monitoring as well? Off to play with a recording device and Audacity.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/11/friday_squid_bl_402.html#c2751193 [schneier.com]

Wakefield II (3, Interesting)

Gallenod (84385) | about 10 months ago | (#45617433)

Isn't this the same thing Wakefield was trying to prove before he committed research fraud and started the whole "vaccines cause autism" nonsense?

Re:Wakefield II (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617481)

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and lead in clean energy, EPA today released its 2013 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that outlines actions planned over the next year to cut energy use and waste in agency operations. President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 [whitehouse.gov] on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020. EPA’s 2013 Sustainability Plan builds on four years of progress under the Executive Order and provides an overview of how the agency is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, and saving energy.

The 2013 Sustainability Plan will also help guide EPA’s actions to meet the new goal President Obama set today with a Presidential Memorandum directing the Federal Government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 – more than double the current level. Meeting this renewable energy goal will reduce pollution in our communities, promote American energy independence, and support homegrown energy produced by American workers.

Since 2009, EPA has:

- Reduced energy use by almost 8%; allowing EPA to avoid $1.5 million in utility costs annually. Compared to the 2003 baseline, EPA has reduced energy by more than 25%
- Used renewable energy and purchased Green Power Renewable Energy Credits equal to 100% of its conventional electricity use. Use of Green Power, coupled with energy conservation and fleet management efforts, reduce EPA Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions by nearly half from FY 2008 levels.
- Reduced annual water use by more than 25% – that’s more than 30 million gallons per year.

The 2013 Sustainability Plan outlines actions planned for the upcoming year to continue progress in meeting the President’s goals, including:

- Pursuing reconstruction of key EPA research infrastructure. Projects completed at the Cincinnati, OH, A.W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, EPA’s second largest research center, have already reduced energy use by more than 30%.
- Consolidating the Research Toxicology Laboratory in Durham, NC into the Main laboratory at Research Triangle Park, NC. This project will reduce agency rent costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and result in a net reduction in EPA space without impacting research capacity.
- Continuing work on EPA’s award winning water conservation program.

Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans are available now at http://sustainability.performance.gov [performance.gov]

Re:Wakefield II (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617493)

His research was ostensibly to show whether the MMR vaccine - specifically the measles component - was the source of the digestive problems. The idea that the vaccine caused both the digestive problems and the autism was made up out of whole cloth for a press conference, to be blunt.

Wakefield was in the employ of lawyers at the time - he received government legal aid money, in fact - who were pursuing the autism-vaccination claim. Of course even if such a link could be found statistically, the strong causal evidence required would be much harder to obtain just because the disorder is so poorly understood. By contrast the gut disorder-measles link is quite simple to get at. If Wakefield's actual paper was confirmed, then a parent whose autistic child had bowel problems could then get damages for that particular problem in court, at the very least. Wakefield tried to get funding from his hospital to set up a company to design and make the diagnostic kits needed.

Re:Wakefield II (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617519)

Actually, you know what? This is wrong. Somehow my memory has completely overstated the measles thing - perhaps because it was pretty robust research - and completely neglected that the paper also had an autism hypothesis.

Re:Wakefield II (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45617901)

(Well, robust but fake...)

Re:Wakefield II (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 10 months ago | (#45618157)

And, of course, Wakefield had his own MMR-replacement vaccine that he wanted to bring to market. So if he could prove that the MMR wasn't safe, he could swoop in, market his replacement, and make a lot of money. Of course, the anti-vax folks (and Wakefield himself) like to ignore this piece and accept Wakefield as being completely anti-vaccine.

Vell! (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 10 months ago | (#45617455)

If zis is vot zey call gut bacteria I'd hate to see bat bacteria

Re:Vell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617523)

Hyu is schmott guy!

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617553)

I read this book 4 years ago that made the same connections. Recommended reading Dr. Hyman the Ultramind Solution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CpHwZR6k20

Encopresis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617611)

Color me skeptical. Chronic constipation/diarrhea in children - they're virtually the same thing, look up encopresis, seriously, do it - is a behavioral problem. The young child finds bowel movements unpleasant and avoids them, setting off a cycle of repeated unpleasant bowel movements and perpetuated avoidance that results in long term deliterious changes to the large instine, sphincter and gut microbiome. In short, I strongly suspect that the chain of causation goes the other way and this evidence is insufficient to establish otherwise at this juncture.

Of course (4, Interesting)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#45617627)

Of course gut microbe play a role. Some aggressive species are able to attack the gut's cells, which cause the leaky gut syndrome, where food proteins not completely digested can enter the bloodstream. The immune system will seek and destroy them, every day, on every meal. That can trigger allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Moreover proteins from milk and wheat contains sequences that are hard to break down, and that can activate morphine receptors in the brain. They are called caseomorphins and gliadomorphins. Some (but not all) autists have success in reducing their symptoms by adopting a diet without diary product and gluten, and it is suspected this is for that reason.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617795)

Moreover proteins from milk and wheat contains sequences that are hard to break down, and that can activate morphine receptors in the brain.

Wait wait wait milk is morphine? Awesome!

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618729)

Maybe "leaky gut syndrome" is to blame for some things. Or maybe it isn't. Scientific research isn't even sure it exists, which your post conveniently omits.

(Also, allergies and autoimmune diseases are not the same thing as autism.)

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45619125)

Yeah, seriously, this is Slashdot...if I claimed that the earth was 4000 years old, I wouldn't be modded up to +5, so why are we suddenly embracing other, pseudo scientifictheories, as long as they're commonly held by left-wingers rather than right-wingers?

i had a feeling in my gut about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617635)

now i'm stealing the upholstery out of my furniture & building nests. winter must be coming,,, it's bugs after all, what a relief, i thought i was imagining...

free the innocent stem cells

Anti-bacterial coatings or soap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45617731)

Maybe anti bacterial coating on toys or ingesting anti bacterial soap is a cause?

Probiotics? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618173)

Clinical tests have proved that so-called "probiotic" additives, orally-administered "enzyme" treatments, and other such methods do not survive passage through the stomach. That is why they cannot make any specific health claims with respect to probiotics.

Commercials use weasel words and leave it to the consumer to leap to the conclusion that eating probiotics will help them.

Didn't we already know this? (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 10 months ago | (#45618235)

I know people who have made great strides is the symptoms of their autistic children by changing their diet and especially cutting out gluten. I thought there was already a known connection between the gut bacteria and autism. Oh, well. Sometimes it takes the mainstream a while to catch up on what some people are figuring out.

Re:Didn't we already know this? (4, Interesting)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 10 months ago | (#45618427)

It's anecdotal and has no empirical backing. Pilot studies [springer.com] aren't showing promise, but a larger study is required to make any definitive conclusions.

It's likely because of the incidence of intestinal disorders, namely celiac disease, switching the diet is providing treatment for the specific disorder improves their children's symptoms, but isn't actually affecting the underlying autism.

Autistic Mice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45618349)

How did they make the mice autistic in the first place?

When they start talking ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 10 months ago | (#45618435)

... about the gut, you always wonder if scientists are giving you the straight shit.

10,000 bacteriums (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 10 months ago | (#45619019)

Considering that most of the cells "inside" the body (if you don't think of the human system as a torus)
are non-human and form an entire ecosystem that digests nutrients out of the substances we ingest,
it makes sense that good digestion is as fundamental to us as it is to a tree (which also relies on an exterior soil ecosystem).

This would also coincide with the apparent disease-like spread of autism thru the population.
The spread of autism also displays a flavor of inheritance and we aren't completely sure how gut bacteria spread
but it's likely that you get it from the people you spend the most time around.

This seems dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45619483)

This comes at the same time that the European Food Safety Administration is prohibiting foods from using the words "probiotics" on their packaging. Because as they have rigorously studied and found there is no correlation between ingested foods and any discernible health benefits.

With nearly none of the claims for benefits being found in studies related to specific bacterium being repeatable, and additionally any "probiotic" supplements being taken appear in fecal testing, but when you stop taking the supplements they likewise disappear from fecal samples. Meaning you can't "seed" your gut bacteria with supplements.

I will remain being EXTREMELY skeptical that they can even remotely remove the effects of autism with a gut bacteria.

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