A small study that analyzed fecal samples from children with and without autism found those with autism had fewer types of gut bacteria. Lower gut flora diversity could make patients more vulnerable to harmful microbes. The study did not show a cause-and-effect relationship between autism and GI flora, but lead researcher Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown of Arizona State University said children with autism can have gastrointestinal problems that persist into adulthood. The study could help with development of treatments for GI complications associated with autism and the condition itself, the authors wrote.
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