Autism may have link to chemicals made by gut microbes

Mice with altered intestines were less social and more anxious

By Tina Hesman Saey, 12:38 PM December 5, 2013

Leaky intestines and an abnormal mix of gut microbes may contribute to autism symptoms, a study of mice suggests.

A skewed mixture of intestinal microbes results in high levels of certain chemicals, including one similar to a compound found in the urine of some children with autism, researchers report in the Dec. 19 Cell.  Mice with autism-like behaviors also have leaky intestines, which allow the chemicals to build up in the animals’ blood, the team found.

Giving the mice beneficial bacteria r...

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