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GI Co-morbidities and Autism. A Microbial Association with Autism.

Science post imageMBio. 2012 Feb 14;3(1). pii: e00019-12. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00019-12. Print 2012.

A microbial association with autism.

Benach JL, Li E, McGovern MM.


Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Medicine and Pediatrics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.


ABSTRACT Autism is a heterogeneous group of complex developmental disabilities that result from a number of possible etiologies. There are a well-known number of comorbidities associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including, commonly, gastrointestinal (GI) pathology, which can include variable combinations of constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux, and vomiting. An American Academy of Pediatrics consensus panel has recommended that prospective studies be carried out to determine the prevalence of GI disorders in ASD and their pathophysiologic basis. In a recent article, Williams et al. [B. L. Williams, M. Hornig, T. Parekh, and W. I. Lipkin, mBio 3(1):e00261-11, 2012] have provided one such study of autism with GI comorbidities by presenting evidence of Sutterella species in ileal mucosal biopsy specimens from patients diagnosed with ASD but not in control children with GI symptoms, suggesting a specific role for Sutterella in ASD. Sutterella sequences represented ~1 to 7% of the total bacterial sequences, and this is a very large effect size on the ileal mucosal composition of the autism phenotype, rivaling or perhaps exceeding the effect size of the ileal Crohn's disease phenotype. This study opens a new field of investigation to study the etiology or consequences of GI comorbidities in ASD.

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I went looking for articles on Sutterella.
It is like all the other species of gut microbes that has been looked at.
So, what if kids with autism - or some kids with autism is growing this in their gut?
Will it address the root cause?
Will they finally conclud that the "IF" metabolism was doing what it should there would not be "EXTRA" nitrates, or carbs, or phosphates, or oxalates laying around that a particular organism finds extra tasty and can reproduce!

Will they then decide to figure out what is wrong with the metabolism. Let me direct them to Complex I and Complex III on the Oxidative phosphorylation cycle on the mitrochondria.

Even that is not the root cause; it has to be the immune system the IgG and IgA attaching the three little carbon chains that are stuck in the ribosomes that is getting the food ready to go into the mitrochondria.

I think we have narrowed this down enough to stop looking at microbes. Not that more will be learned aobut something - so I am not againest this type of research. It is just for autism I feel they are looking in the wrong place.

Dr. Wakefield already knows this. A gut not growing the right kinds of microbes --- there is something wrong on up further in the production line.


GI problems experience by children with autism can also be caused by increased serotonin levels in the gut (the second brain). Many sufferers have extra sensitive pain receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be related to an abnormal level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating digestion and mood. The gut is literally your second brain.


The second brain, technically known as the enteric nervous system contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels.

Serotonin seeping from the second brain might even play some part in autism. It has discovered that the same genes involved in synapse formation between neurons in the brain are involved in the alimentary synapse formation. If these genes are affected in autism it could explain why so many kids with autism have GI motor abnormalities in addition to elevated levels of gut-produced serotonin in their blood.


Bob Moffitt

"This study opens a new field of investigation to study the etiology or consequences of GI comorbidities in ASD."

While previous studies investigating a link between the microbiota and autism have utilized stool samples, the study was unique in investigating bacteria adherent to the intestinal wall, which may be different than what is shed in the stool. Furthermore, the researchers designed and applied novel Sutterella-specific molecular assays to enable detection, quantitation, and phylogenetic analysis of "Sutterella" species in biological and environmental samples.

Sutterella has been previously linked to inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease although the more recent data has cast some doubt on the exclusivity of this link.

While this study may open a "new field of investigation to study the etiology or consequences of GI comorbidities in ASD" .. to me .. it appears to be a complete validation of Dr. Wakefield's original work.

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