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Oral Microbial Activity May Help Identify Autism in Children

August 23, 2018
by Steven D. Hicks, Healio


Gene expression activity within oral microbial communities may be altered in children with autism spectrum disorder, findings published in Autism Research revealed.

These results suggested that changes in the bacteria within a child’s mouth may provide biomarkers for identifying autism.

Although prior research has revealed disrupted gut-brain signaling in autism spectrum disorder, almost all studies of the ASD microbiome have focused on the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, Steven D. Hicks, MD, PhD, from the department of pediatrics at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and colleagues explained.

“We conducted this research to examine whether intestinal microbiome disruption in patients with autism extended to the oropharynx,” Hicks told Healio Psychiatry.

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