Cork Scientists Identify Link Between Intestinal Bacteria and Autism

pest_miceScientists at University College Cork have found a link between intestinal bacteria levels and autistic patterns of behaviour. Findings at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic (APC) suggest that mice raised in a germ-free environment spent more time interacting with objects than with other mice – a strong sign of autism. The serotonin system, which regulates mood, can only develop properly if sufficient intestinal bacteria is present. Children with autism also show similar behaviour patterns and scientists have pointed out that gut problems are common with these kids too. Professor John F. Cyran, senior author of the publication and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC said about the experimental models, “they clearly highlight that the absence of critical bacteria during early life affects behaviors relevant to autism and thus further investigations into how the microbiota affects the wiring of the brain are required.”

The APC is a cohort of microbiologists, immunologists, food scientists, gastroenterologists, psychiatrists and pharmacologists, the APC has a unique blend of clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic scientists working together to understand the complex environment of the gastrointestinal tract and its microbial community. They are a Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) established in 2003 through funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). They are a meeting point of academia, research and development and industry-leading multinationals such as GlaxoSmithKline.

Are you interested in jobs in the field of biotechnology or pharmacology? Feel free to contact one of our consultants who are only too happy to advise you on opportunities here in Ireland or internationally.

Follow Life Science on Google+

About the author: Conor Hughes works as a Marketing Executive at Life Science Recruitment

| Twitter | Linkedin