Reduced Gut Mucus May Contribute to Autism

Mucus Defends Against Bad Bacteria in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Bacterial imbalances of the gastrointestinal tract and other gut disorders have long been associated with autism.  Although the reasons for these gastrointestinal problems have remained unclear.  Now, recent research out of RMIT University in Australia suggests that changes in gut mucus may play a role in these gastrointestinal disorders. After reviewing 113 neurological, gut, and microbiology studies, the RMIT researchers revealed that individuals with autism have different types of bacteria in their gut mucus compared to healthy controls. Since mucus plays a critically important role for balancing good and bad bacteria in the gut, the research team theorizes that reduced gut mucus protection may make people with neurological diseases more susceptible to gastrointestinal disorders. In the future, the research team hopes to understand the role that gut mucus plays in brain diseases so treatments can be developed. The team believes their research shows that microbial engineering and manipulating gut mucus to boost good bacteria could be possible future therapeutic options for autism as well as other neurological disorders. 

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