A new project in our lab builds on exciting findings from researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, who reported that the absence of one specific species of gut bacteria causes social deficits in mice reminiscent of symptoms of ASD in humans. Additional research has revealed the reporting of gastrointestinal problems in individuals with ASD. In our new study we are investigating the rate and type of gastrointestinal symptoms in families of individuals with ASD, and how such features may relate to behavioral and psychosocial features among parents with study findings indicating GI symptoms as a risk factor for ASD. Findings contribute to a growing body of research supporting evidence of the gut-brain connection in ASD.
A Single Species of Gut Bacteria Can Reverse Autism-Related Social Behavior in Mice