If you saw ‘The Autism Enigma’ (4 Corners on September 1st) you’ll know it covered the possible relationship between gut bacteria and autism disorders.
In a nutshell, the show presented evidence that bacteria living in the gut – and how these influence the huge neural network which surrounds it – could create changes in behaviour and even autism-like syndromes.
Online newspaper The Conversation has published an article in which two experts address the science relating to this idea (Can a gut bacteria imbalance really cause autism?). It’s well worth a read, and not too heavy on the sciencey jargon. Sections include How the gut works, The role of fatty acids and Blaming sugar.
Even though the preliminary evidence is tantalising, the bottom line is that,
Early intervention behavioural therapy is, for now, the only treatment scientifically shown to improve behavioural symptoms of autism.
[fantastic digestive system embroidery image thanks to Hey Paul Studios on flickr]