Researchers look at the link between gut bacteria and autism – Medical News Today

New research looks to the gut microbiome to try to address some of the symptoms associated with autism, but this investigation comes with its own set of problems.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explain that “[a]utism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction.”

They also point out that specialists use the term “spectrum,” as autism is different in different individuals.

The condition can incorporate a “wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning.”

Most people with autism receive the diagnosis during childhood and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 in 59 children receive this diagnosis.

Studies involving autistic adult participants and their parents suggest that people on the spectrum can sometimes have a poorer quality of life.

However, the participants and their parents have reported various factors that contribute to these discrepancies in the quality of life.

Autistic adults have said that being in stressful situations and experiencing abuse such as bullying had the greatest impact on their well-being.

Meanwhile, their parents have focused on factors such as their children’s level of independence on a daily basis, as well as their level of physical health.

The CDC note that for those on the spectrum who experience issues such as depression, seizures, and lack of focus, there are drugs available that could help.

People on the autistic spectrum may also experience sensory sensitivity with different degrees of severity, engage in repetitive behaviors, and communicate differently on an interpersonal level.

According to the CDC, people who wish to minimize the effects of some of these characteristics can try different therapies, including speech, sensory integration, and occupational therapy.

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