Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University have found that an uncommon bacterium exists in the walls of intestines of children with autism, but not those who do not have autism.The study, led by Brent Williams, tested 23 tissue biopsy samples from children with autism and found that a large portion (12 of the 23) contained the bacteria belonging to the group Sutterella. Even so, the bacteria are generally uncommon, not being found in any of the tissue samples from children without autism.
Tag Archives: Diagnosis
One of the many potential causes of autism, smoking during pregnancy, has been ruled out after a large population-based study in Sweden.“We found no evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of autism spectrum disorders,” said study leader Dr. Brian Lee, an assistant professor at Drexel University and an epidemiologist at Drexel’s School of Public Health, in collaboration with researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and the University of Bristol (Bristol, UK).
There are questions over a possible autism epidemic given that the number of children diagnosed in the United States is twenty times higher than it was a generation ago. About one percent of all children are affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Scientists are striving to determine an explanation for the spike in diagnoses. While there have been several red herrings, the search for an environmental explanation has so far been fruitless.
Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropologist at George Washington University who has studied autism across the world, believes that what some are calling an epidemic is really an “epidemic of discovery.” Grinker suggests that the percentage of people with autism has always been the same, but previously went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.