Chinese scientists discover new possibility of autism treatment |


Nanjing, April 2 (Xinhua) – Chinese scientists have discovered that the absence of certain proteins in the vinegar fly (drosophila melanogaster) causes imbalance in the intestinal flora and causes symptoms similar to those of autism.

Liu Xingyin, a professor at the Medical University of Nanjing, a city in eastern China, the research team said the discovery could lead to the new theoretical path of treatment of autism based on digestion and immune activities.

Liu explained that in experiments, vinegar flies without the KDM5 protein stayed away from each other, responded slowly and reduced direct contact with other flies.

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

Today is Tuesday the World Day of Consciousness on Autism.

The research shows that, without the function of KDM5, the barriers of the intestinal mucosa of the flies were damaged and the intestinal flora unbalanced.

"Many people with autism also have severe bowel disorders such as diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, which is consistent with our findings," Liu said.

Further research has enabled us to discover that antibiotic use or the supply of Lactobacillus Plantarum could improve social behaviors and prolong the life expectancy of some flies without KDM5.

"Previous studies on autism generally focus on genetics," Liu said. "We hope to open a new path to autism therapy from the perspective of digestion and the immune system," he added.

The results of the research were published in the latest issue of Cell Host & Microbe, one of the leading international journals in the field of microbiology.


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