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AAN: No Link Seen Between Autism and Celiac Disease

Study contradicts previous research suggesting that autistic children may have higher risk

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Autistic children may have no higher risk of developing celiac disease than non-autistic children, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston. The finding contradicts some previous research that suggests a link between the two conditions.

Samra Vazirian, M.D., of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues assessed serum levels of anti-gliadin and anti-endomysial antibodies in 34 autistic children (mean age 9.24 years) and 34 controls (mean age 10.76 years). They offered duodenal biopsies to subjects with positive serology.

The researchers identified anti-gliadin antibodies in four (11.8 percent) of the autistic children and in two (5.9 percent) of the controls. In all six children, duodenal biopsies were negative for celiac disease. The researchers also found there was no connection between antibody levels and autism severity.

"No evidence was found that children with autism were more likely than children without autism to have had celiac disease," the authors conclude. "This study also suggests future research in determining the relationship between levels of anti-gliadin and anti-endomysial antibodies and severity of the disease in children with autism."

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