Another gluten study linked with autism

New study that links gluten with autism.

Elevated gluten antibodies found in children with autism.

Researchers have found elevated antibodies to gluten proteins of wheat in children with autism in comparison to those without autism. The results also indicated an association between the elevated antibodies and the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms in the affected children. They did not find any connection, however, between the elevated antibodies and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder known to be triggered by gluten. The results were e-published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Please take a look at this story and provide any additional links or information or explanation you can find. I’m concerned about this supposed link – I feel the idea of a possible correlation between the two conditions may be just a coincidence and not the cause and effect that some parents with autistic children claim it to be.

What does this study mean? Is it any good? I’d rather wait to hear experts weigh in on it.

Here is some information on the connection that was made to diet:

NeuroLogica Blog » Special Diets Do Not Work for Autism.

In the only double-blind, crossover study, no benefit of a gluten-free diet was identified. Several other studies did report benefit from gluten-free diet. Controlling for observer bias and what may have represented unrelated progress over time in these studies is not possible. There are many barriers to evaluating treatment benefits for patients with autism. Gluten sensitivity may present in a variety of ways, including gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms.

via The relationship of autism and gluten. [Clin Ther. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI.

  7 comments for “Another gluten study linked with autism

  1. Charles DuFarle
    June 23, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    A study of autism and placental abnormalities — autism indicated at the fetal stage
    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/29388

  2. June 23, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    It’s obvious. There is no blood test for tTG after all. Oh, wait, there is.

  3. Chris Howard
    June 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I’m really ignorant when it comes to this, but hasn’t gluten been in the human diet for thousands of years?

    • June 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      Yes indeed. I have no idea why it’s such a horrible thing now.

  4. June 23, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    PLoS One is a very carefully peer reviewed journal. It is the open-publishing equivalent of Science or Nature. This is not to say that any of those journals might not sometimes publish regrettable research, but on the whole, they are the top drawer and do not take their responsibility lightly.

    • June 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      Um, ALL research is open to critique. And PLOS ONe has had it’s share of bad studies.

      • June 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM

        Yes, all research is open to critique, but naive critiques that come from a perspective not grounded in an understanding of how research at this level is conducted are usually of little value. For example, every scientist worth anything KNOWS that correlation does not equal causation. A study that demonstrates correlation must either show a causal pathway or else acknowledge that further research is needed to establish one, if it exists. Journalists are the ones usually too quick to cry “causation!” even when the science does not, and scientists get a bad rap as a result.

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