Gastrointestinal Issues Linked with Anxiety, Social Withdrawal for Kids with Autism
[Source: Science Daily]
A new study at the University of Missouri found a “bi-directional” relationship between gastrointestinal issues and internalized symptoms in children and adolescents with autism — meaning the symptoms seem to be impacting each other simultaneously. The findings could influence future precision medicine research aimed at developing personalized treatments to ease pain for individuals with autism experiencing gastrointestinal issues.
“Research has shown gastrointestinal issues are associated with an increased stress response as well as aggression and irritability in some children with autism,” said Brad Ferguson, an assistant research professor in the MU School of Health Professions, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Department of Radiology in the MU School of Medicine. “This likely happens because some kids with autism are unable to verbally communicate their gastrointestinal discomfort as well as how they feel in general, which can be extremely frustrating. The goal of our research is to find out what factors are associated with gastrointestinal problems in individuals with autism so we can design treatments to help these individuals feel better.”
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