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On World Autism Day 2019, Know More About Its Symptoms & New Prospects Of Therapy

02 April 2019


Bhubaneswar: On World Autism Awareness Day, study has found that people with autism can recognise complex emotions such as regret and relief in fellow humans. The research breaks a persistent stereotype that people with mental, emotional and behavioural disorders lack empathy and cannot understand emotion.

Psychologists from the University of Kent in Britain found that adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were quickly able to think about how things might have turned out differently (either better or worse than reality) and then judge whether the story character would regret or get relief.

The behavioral symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often appear early in development. Many children show symptoms of autism by 12 months to 18 months of age or earlier. Autism is a severe neurobiological disorder and is estimated to affect nearly 10 Million children in India. According to US Department of Health and Human Services, some early signs of autism include:

  • Problems with eye contact
  • No response to his or her name
  • Problems following another person's gaze or pointed finger to an object (or "joint attention")
  • Poor skills in pretend play and imitation
  • Problems with nonverbal communication

Meanwhile, Chinese scientists have discovered a new prospect of countering ASD. They found out that absence of a certain protein in flies causes intestinal imbalance and makes them show symptoms similar to autism in humans.

The team, led by Professor Liu Xingyin of Nanjing Medical University in China, said the discovery could lead to a new theoretical path of countering autism based on digestion and immune activities.

Xingyin said the KDM5-deficient flies, kept their distance from one another, were slow to respond and had reduced direct contact with other flies.

"All of these phenomena are similar to the communication disorders of people with autism," Liu said.

The study showed that without the function of KDM5, the flies' intestinal mucosal barriers were damaged and their intestinal flora was imbalanced.

"Many people with autism also have a serious intestinal illness, like diarrhea and irritable-bowel syndrome. It is consistent with our findings," Liu said.

Further research also discovered that using antibiotics or feeding 'lactobacillus plantarum' could improve social behaviour as well as the lifespan of some KDM5-deficient flies.

"Earlier studies about autism usually focused on genetics," he said. "We are looking forward to opening a new road for human autism therapy from the perspective of human digestion and the immune system," Liu said.

(With IANS Inputs)