As much as the medical community likes to discredit Andrew Wakefield for his theory about the MMR link to autism, research keeps supporting his central argument: autism is somehow related to the gut.
The latest has discovered that children with persistent gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms are more than twice as likely to be autistic.
The risk dramatically increases in children who suffer from regular constipation, or food intolerance or diarrhea between the ages of six months and three years, say researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Although the connection is apparent, not all children with GI problems will go on to develop autism, any more than autistic children will necessarily have gut issues, cautions lead researcher Michaeline Bresnahan.
Nonetheless, it was one of the key discoveries of Andrew Wakefield, who surmised that the MMR vaccine could be triggering the GI problems in the first place.
(Source: JAMA Psychiatry, 2015; doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3034)