This holiday weekend always triggers a reincarnation, a resurrection of the vaccine – autism hypothesis. Many of you have read about the measles epidemics that are hitting many areas of the country. But besides vaccines, there are other aspects of the immune system that may be linked to autism in some people. The include family history of autoimmune disorders as well as specific genetic mutations that confer protection against subtypes of ASD. This week’s ASF podcast will explore these theories and present different ideas on how the immune response is involved in autism, and if it is at all. Listen to the podcast here.
This week’s ASF Podcast is a special interview with Dr. Gil Sharon from CalTech, who studies the microbiome in animal models and potential link to ASD. The microbiome is the full community of bacteria that live in our bodies and outnumber cells 10-1. They can affect the genome directly and they can respond to environmental factors which means they may be a site for important gene x environment interactions in autism. Some people with ASD, especially those with gastrointestinal problems, show alterations in the microbiome and more and more scientists are starting to incorporate studying this complex system into their research. Most importantly, new research is suggesting potential for probiotic therapies to not only treat GI symptoms, but also core autism symptoms. To hear the podcast, click here: http://asfpodcast.org/?p=404