Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Regression

Maria D. Valicenti-McDermott, Kathryn McVicar, Herbert J. Cohen, Barry K. Wershil, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Few studies have compared gastrointestinal problems in children with an autism spectrum disorder with and without a history of language regression. A cross-sectional study was conducted with structured interviews in 100 children with autism spectrum disorder, using a gastrointestinal questionnaire and a familial autoimmune questionnaire. By parental report, children with language regression more frequently exhibited an abnormal stool pattern (40% vs 12%, P = 0.006) and had an increased family history of celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (24% vs 0%, P = 0.001) and of rheumatoid arthritis (30% vs 11%, P = 0.03). Among 35 children with a family history of autoimmune disease, an abnormal stool pattern was reported more frequently in those with language regression (78% vs 15%, P = 0.001) than in those without. An association was observed between children with language regression, a family history of autoimmune disease, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Additional studies are needed to examine a possible shared autoimmune process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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