Possible causes of disorder should now include celiac disease, study suggests
MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Children of mothers who have autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease have up to a three times greater risk for autism, a new study finds.
Although the association between autism and a maternal history of type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis had been found in earlier research, the researchers behind the new study say that theirs is the first to find a link between autism and celiac disease. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley.
"This finding reinforces the suggestion that autoimmune processes are connected somehow with the cause of autism and autism spectrum disorder," said researcher William W. Eaton, chairman of the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. "This finding is on the pathway of finding the cause of autism."