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Bowel gene linked to autism.

People with autism have an unusually high risk of bowel disorders. A gene variant has now been found that may explain the link.

A large proportion of people with autism have problems such as chronic constipation, diarrhoea or food intolerance. The MET gene, which has been linked to autism, is known to play a role in the repair of damaged gut tissue. A team led by Daniel Campbell of Vanderbilt University looked at whether or not this gene was involved.

They found that in 118 families in which at least one child was affected by both autism and gut disorders, a particular variant of the MET gene was more common in the child with autism than in the parents. This suggests that the gene plays a role in the child's autism. By contrast, this was not the case in 96 families where the children with autism did not have gut problems, suggesting that their autism had a different cause.

New Scientist 7 March 2009: 15.

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Title Annotation:single suture
Publication:CME: Your SA Journal of CPD
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:165
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