No association between early gastrointestinal problems and autistic-like traits in the general population

28 Mar

Gastrointesintal problems are a common topic of discussion and debate in the online autism communities. Much of the discussion involves causation: do GI problems cause autism? A recent study looks at a tangent of this argument. Considering the general population, do GI problems early in life predict autistic traits later in life? The methodology isn’t the strongest: they use parent reports of GI complaints and the self-report questionaire Autism Quotient. They also asked about whether the individuals were immunized with the MMR vaccine.

The results:

There was no statistically significant difference in AQ scores between those who had (n=133) and those who had not (n=671) experienced early gastrointestinal symptoms. (2) analyses revealed that the children with early gastrointestinal problems were no more likely to be represented in the upper quintile of scores on any of the AQ scales. The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination was unrelated to gastrointestinal symptoms or AQ scores.

The abstract is quoted below:

No association between early gastrointestinal problems and autistic-like traits in the general population

Aim
The aim of this study was to determine whether gastrointestinal problems in early childhood relate to autistic-like traits in a general population sample.

Method
The parents of 804 children (442 females; 362 males) reported at 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-year follow-ups whether their child had been taken to a hospital, general practitioner, or health clinic for any of five gastrointestinal symptoms: (1) constipation; (2) diarrhoea; (3) abdominal bloating, discomfort, or irritability; (4) gastro-oesophageal reflux or vomiting; and (5) feeding issues or food selectivity. Parents also reported whether their child had received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination. Autistic-like traits were measured when the children had reached early adulthood (mean age 19y 7mo; SD 0.63y) using a self-report questionnaire, the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ).

Results

There was no statistically significant difference in AQ scores between those who had (n=133) and those who had not (n=671) experienced early gastrointestinal symptoms. (2) analyses revealed that the children with early gastrointestinal problems were no more likely to be represented in the upper quintile of scores on any of the AQ scales. The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination was unrelated to gastrointestinal symptoms or AQ scores.

Interpretation

Parent-reported gastrointestinal problems in early childhood are unrelated to self-reported autistic-like traits in the general population.

About these ads

10 Responses to “No association between early gastrointestinal problems and autistic-like traits in the general population”

  1. Penelope March 28, 2011 at 13:58 #

    Thanks LBRB. You make every thing so simple to understand. Just like the vaccines are 100% safe all the time research you like to share. Keep up the mind-provoking, in depth work.

  2. RAJ March 28, 2011 at 15:23 #

    A new study that scored the presence of ‘autistic-like’ traits in twin cohorts representing nearly 30,000 children and adults found that ‘autistic-likes’ traits are not specific to autism risk. ‘Autistic-like’ traits are associated with risk for a broad spectrum of mental health problems including ADHD, anxiety, conduct problems, depression,substance abuse as well as autism.

    This findings has to question the meaningfullness of such intruments as Baron-Cohen’s ASQ tests which is not a test for ‘autism’ but rather a test for common normal human characteristic personality traits that may represent a slightly increased risk for a broad spectrum of mental health issues. The relevance to autism, a debilitating neurological disorder, in this study can be questioned. A study that looked at children with an unambigous diagnosis of autism (DSM-IV criteria) would shed more light than this study which which looked at AS scores in the general population.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21426604

  3. RAJ March 28, 2011 at 15:41 #

    Pang and Croker looked at children with GIT symptoms severe enough to be referred to a Pediatric Constipation Surgical Unit and found that 8.5% of children whose GIT symptoms were severe enough to be referred to a surgical unit were diagnosed with autism, far greater than population norms.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20697898

  4. AWOL March 28, 2011 at 15:43 #

    Is the brain not connected to the gut in most humans?Lbrb having all the answers should know?

    Several recent studies have linked mercury to serious harm in children.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/28/mercurycontaining-medicines-harmful-to-children.aspx

    Dr. Joachim Mutter, author of one of the newest mercury studies, found evidence confirming that mercury in vaccines and other medical products could trigger autism. Another recent study observed that organic mercury is added to vaccines without sufficient safety testing, and warned that the use of mercury-containing Thimerosal is “potentially damaging the health of children.”

  5. Chris March 28, 2011 at 17:49 #

    Penelope:

    Just like the vaccines are 100% safe all the time research you like to share.

    Please tell us which LBRB post claimed that vaccines are 100% safe. Thank you.

  6. livsparents March 28, 2011 at 18:35 #

    Penny, if you’d like two words for why studies like this are conducted…here they are: autistic entercolitis. It’s a crying shame that over the past decade, wild eyed theories regarding gut/ brain barriers create panic in some parents who have kids that have GI issues; and create false pursuits for parents of autistic kids that their autism is ’caused’ by GI problems. I outta know, I spent a year and thousands of dollars pursuing that line early in my daughters life. Turns out what I should have been doing is educating my Pediatric GI doctor that just because some crackpot invents a ‘new’ disease, doesn’t mean they should ignore my child’s legitimate GI issues.

    You see, the GI issues, like the vaccines, are not victim less ‘crimes’ when theorists put out dire hypothesis as fact. Yelling ‘FIRE’ in the crowded movies is not the solution to getting someone to put out a cigarette. And you can’t blame the firefighters for checking the place after they’ve been called…

    Sorry to get all analogous folks, hope that makes sense…

  7. sharon March 28, 2011 at 23:20 #

    Yes Penelope, as Chris asks, please show where any claim was ever made by anyone, that vaccines are 100% safe. No one who supports community immunisation denies there are some who are vulnerable to an adverse outcome.
    The black and white thinking you exhibit belongs to the anti vax, ‘Big Pharma is out to get you’ camp. It’s called Vaccine Rejectionism Spectrum Disorder (VRSD)
    See http://autism-news-beat.com

  8. Science Mom March 29, 2011 at 04:48 #

    Dr. Joachim Mutter, author of one of the newest mercury studies, found evidence confirming that mercury in vaccines and other medical products could trigger autism.

    It isn’t a study, it’s a handwaving review.

    Another recent study observed that organic mercury is added to vaccines without sufficient safety testing, and warned that the use of mercury-containing Thimerosal is “potentially damaging the health of children.”

    Try citations; you don’t exactly have any credibility.

  9. Esattezza March 29, 2011 at 05:15 #

    I really hate that GI + autism always equals mercury. It means kids with legitimate stomach issues get ignored by the mainstream.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,129 other followers

%d bloggers like this: