A new research study conducted by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) shows promise that gut bacteria may be a key component in patients with autism.  The study first produced mice with autisim symptoms, then injected the mice with gut bacteria called Bacteroides fragilis.  The mice were astoundinigly more communicative and less anxious.  While the link between autisim and gastrointestional issues was previously established, the fact that introducing a key strain of bacteria into mice with autistic-like behaviors greatly improved their brain function.  Previous research indicated that children with autism often have "leaky gut syndrome," a permeability to the intestinal wall that allows toxins to leak into the bloodstream.  If this new treatment is successfully used in humans, the link between gastrointestinal health and autism will be confirmed.  This new research indicates a very promising future in the study of autism, its causes, and how it can be treated.

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