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Children with autism more likely to have severe gastrointestinal problems

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Children with autism are more likely to have severe constipation, diarrhea and underwear staining, according to a report published recently in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Using data from the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, researchers analyzed the relationship between gastrointestinal problems with measures of rigid-compulsive behavior in children aged 2 to 17 years old.

They discovered that four of five key measures of rigid-compulsive behavior had a strong link to constipation and diarrhea/underwear staining.

However, despite finding an association between rigid-compulsive behaviors and gastrointestinal problems, how they are are linked to autism is not fully known.

Nevertheless, the association could lead to a common biological pathway, which affects both the brain and the gut, with researchers currently looking at the connection between serotonin levels and gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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