Previously called pediatric schizophrenia, autism-spectrum disorders (ASDs) now include autistic disorders and other childhood psychoses. ASDs often have gastrointestinal comorbidities.
Appearing most often during the first 5 years of life, ASDs include autistic disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, the Landau–Kleffner syndrome (also called infantile acquired aphasia), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Their prevalence in the world is 1/160 children, with 4 boys for 1 girl1. ASDs share variable degrees of difficulty interacting socially, communicating and acquiring language, a narrow range of interests and acting out repetitive activities, specific to each person2.
Ongoing study of the intestinal microbiota
Numerous factors, particularly environmental and genetic, probably contribute to making a child susceptible to ASDs1. It is widely accepted that ASDs are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders; however, the real causes are not clear3. Conversely, recent results showed frequent ASD comorbidity with gastrointestinal symptoms4 and increased intestinal permeability5 . Dysbiosis was found in mice that reproduce ASD behavioral anomalies. Oral administration of a Bacteroides fragilis strain to those mice attenuated the microbiota dysbiosis and lessened the severity of most behavioral abnormalities6 .
No curative therapy exists for ASDs, but early management with psychosocial interventions, like behavioral therapy, can limit communication and social behavior difficulties. Correction of digestive ecosystem imbalances by adding probiotics, prebiotics, and a controlled diet might limit ASD behavioral anomalies3,6,7.
1 – Troubles du spectre autistique, OMS, février 2016 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/autism-spectrum-disorders/fr/
2 – Pro aide autisme, une association de loi 1901, nouveaux critères diagnostiques du DSM 5 http://proaidautisme.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Changes_to_DSM5_FR.pdf
3 - Van De Sande, M.M.H., van Buul, V.J. and Brouns, F.J.P.H. (2014) ‘Autism and nutrition: the role of the gut–brain axis’, Nutrition Research Reviews, Année;27(2):199–214. doi: 10.1017/S0954422414000110.
4 - Krajmalnik-Brown R. Gut bacteria in children with autism spectrum disorders: challenges and promise of studying how a complex community influences a complex disease. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2015;26:26914. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25769266
5 - Navarro, F., Liu, Y., & Rhoads, J. M. (2016). Can probiotics benefit children with autism spectrum disorders? World Journal of Gastroenterology. Année;22(46):10093–10102. http://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v22.i46.10093
6 - Hsiao EY et al. Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Cell. 2013;155:1451-63. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24315484
7 - New clinical study to focus on gut, autism connection sur le site du Baylor College of Medicine https://www.bcm.edu/news/pathology-and-immunology/clinical-study-focus-on-gut-autism-connection (consulté le 13/02/2017)