Autism and the gut: no real link after all?
Many parents of autistic children say that their kids seem to have gut disturbances. And many try diets -- such as ones free of gluten or casein -- in the hope that their kids will fare better. The gut-autism link was heavily promulgated by Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the UK, who hypothesized that the MMR vaccine causes problems for the gut as well as the mind in children, resulting in autism. (Wakefield's research has been discredited.)
A Mayo Clinic study published in Pediatrics now reports that the frequency of gut disturbances is no higher in children with autism than in the general population. Read a New York Times article about the issue here.
Here's one doctor's opinion on such diets.
-- Rosie Mestel