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Associations between cytokines, endocrine stress response, and gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder

TitleAssociations between cytokines, endocrine stress response, and gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFerguson, BJ, Marler, S, Altstein, LL, Lee, EBatey, Mazurek, MO, McLaughlin, A, Macklin, EA, McDonnell, E, Davis, DJ, Belenchia, AM, ,
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume58
Pagination57–62
Summary

Lead Author
Bradley Ferguson, David Beversdorf

Study Aims and Objectives To examine the relationship between digestive problems and the body’s response to stress in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
Parental surveys were used to determine the presence of common digestive problems in 120 boys and girls with ASD between the ages of 6 and 18. Additionally, participant blood and saliva were analyzed before and after a stressful activity.

Results – Main Finding(s)
The most common forms of digestive problems in children with ASD include constipation and lower abdominal pain. The researchers found that these types of digestive issues were related to the degree in which the children with ASD’s body responded to stress compared to their resting state. Furthermore, the data showed that there may be a link between the body’s response to stress and the individual’s intelligence and social skills.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
A relationship was found between digestive problems and the body’s response to stress in children with ASD. Additionally, a link was shown between a child with ASD’s bodily response to stress and his or her intelligence, and social skills. More work should go into understanding these connections.

PubMed ID27181180