Podcast: Scientists know in their gut how the GI symptoms are linked to autism

People with autism have higher levels of GI problems than people without a diagnosis, and the microbiome is associated with GI function. So, is the microbiome linked to autism? Some studies say yes, but this week, studies in China look at non-caucasian people with a different diet. Do the differences still hold? Also, while GI symptoms have been studied in relation to core autism features, they have not yet been linked to psychiatric issues like anxiety, ADHD, and aggression. Until now, thanks to Raphael Bernier and Sara Jane Webb and their team at the University of Washington who addressed this very issue. This week’s podcast features three new studies looking at GI issues, and the causes of those issues, in kids with autism. Listen to the podcast here.

On this week’s podcast, Dr. Alycia Halladay focuses in on the Extreme Male Brain Theory of Autism. Amazingly, fetal testosterone levels are reflected in the length of the 2nd and 4th fingers and can be measured as a reflection of testosterone levels during pregnancy. But what may be true for one sex, may not be true for the other.

Podcast Logo_04242017This week’s podcast with Dr. Alycia Halladay summarizes some new studies looking at autism traits and autism diagnosis in girls with anorexia nervosa. While the two disorders may seem different at the outset, they do share some behavioral features. Unfortunately, most studies look at autism in those with anorexia, not the other way around. However, what is known is that there is not only higher levels of ASD traits in girls with anorexia, but about 10% of girls with anorexia also have an autism diagnosis. This number can only be trusted if you look at both standardized observation instruments AND parental report. Studies determining the rates of eating disorders in autism are desperately needed for better treatment of symptoms. Learn more by listening to the podcast here.