Wednesday August 22, 2018

A Study Found That Children Diagnosed With ASD Had A Food Allergy

"We don't know which comes first, food allergy or ASD," said Bao

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Study Found That Children Diagnosed With ASD Had A Food Allergy
Study Found That Children Diagnosed With ASD Had A Food Allergy, Pixabay
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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more than twice as likely to suffer from a food allergy than children who do not have ASD, a new study suggests.

The study found that, among the participants, 11.25 per cent of children reportedly diagnosed with ASD had a food allergy, significantly higher than the 4.25 per cent of children who were not diagnosed with ASD and had a food allergy.

“It is possible that the immunologic disruptions may have processes beginning early in life, which then influence brain development and social functioning, leading to the development of ASD,” said co-author Wei Bao, Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, in the US.

The finding, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, adds to a growing body of research that suggests immunological dysfunction as a possible risk factor for the development of ASD.

Children
Children, Pixabay

For the study, the researchers analysed the health information of nearly 200,000 children in the US. They were aged between three to 17 and the data were gathered between 1997 and 2016.

The study also found that 18.73 per cent of children with ASD suffered from respiratory allergies, while 12.08 per cent of children without ASD had such allergies; and 16.81 per cent of children with ASD had skin allergies, well above the 9.84 per cent of children without ASD.

“This indicates there could be a shared mechanism linking different types of allergic conditions to ASD,” Bao noted.

The researcher said that the study could not determine the causality of this relationship given its observational nature.

But previous studies have suggested possible links — increased production of antibodies, immune system overreactions causing impaired brain function, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and alterations in the gut biome, the researchers said.

Autistic Girl
Autistic Girl , Pixabay

Also read: “This is nice it tickles me” British robot kaspar helps Autistic children with social interaction and communication

“We don’t know which comes first, food allergy or ASD,” said Bao, adding that another longitudinal follow-up study of children since birth would be needed to establish temporality. (IANS)

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Frequency of Brain Tumours Increase in Children With Common Genetic Syndrome

Applying the new criteria to MRI scans will help physicians identify probable tumours.

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Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome
Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome, Pixabya

Parents, please take note. The frequency of brain tumours has been underestimated in children with the common genetic syndrome — neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a new study has found.

According to the researchers, this disorder is characterised by birthmarks on the skin and benign nerve tumours that develop in or on the skin. Brain tumours are also known to occur in children and adults with NF1.

They estimated that only 15-20 per cent of kids with NF1 develop brain tumours. But the study, published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice, found that the frequency of brain tumours in this population was more than three times higher.

brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern
Brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern. Wikimedia Commons

“I’m not delivering the message anymore that brain tumours are rare in NF1. This study has changed how I decide which children need more surveillance and when to let the neuro-oncologists know that we may have a problem,” said senior author David H. Gutmann from the Washington University School of Medicine.

Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of children with NF1 characteristically show bright spots that are absent in the scans of unaffected children. Unlike tumours, they are generally thought to disappear in teenage years, the researchers said.

Since brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern, they added.

Representation of a Brain Tumour. Flickr
Representation of a Brain Tumor. Flickr

For the study, the team developed a set of criteria to distinguish tumours from other bright spots. The researchers then analysed scans from 68 NF1 patients and 46 children without NF1 for comparison.

Also Read: Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too 

All but four (94 per cent) of the children with NF1 had bright spots, and none of the children without NF1 did. Further, in 57 per cent of the children with bright spots, at least one of the spots was deemed likely to be a tumour, the research team found.

Applying the new criteria to MRI scans will help physicians identify probable tumours, but that does not mean that all children with NF1 should be scanned regularly, the researchers cautioned. (IANS)