Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When the Belly is the Beast-The Gottschall Autism Center Conference

The Gottschall Autism Center is having their second annual "When the Belly is the Beast" conference on Friday, April 1, 2011. What caught my eye was Dr. Allessio Fasano will be speaking on "Gluten, Leaky Gut, and the Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Connect the Dots". Dr. Fasano has done some really fascinating research on the role of intestinal permeability "leaky gut" and autoimmunity. I was excited to see another researcher of this caliber looking into the autism and gut connection.  Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist from Harvard will also be speaking. Oh to be a fly on the wall at this conference....way too cool!

Here is a nibble of Dr. Fasano's research:

Physiological, pathological, and therapeutic implications of zonulin-mediated intestinal barrier modulation: living life on the edge of the wall.

Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permeability, and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms

Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.

Gliadin, zonulin and gut permeability: Effects on celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and intestinal cell lines.

Gliadin induces an increase in intestinal permeability and zonulin release by binding to the chemokine receptor CXCR3.


  1. Fasano's work is very, very interesting. There has been quite a lot of discussion on some of the issues he raises (both in connection to autism and other things) over on Emily Dean's evolutionary psychiatry blog (no plug intended).

  2. Paul, I enjoy reading MS. Dean's blog when I get time. I think many of the things that apply to autism and auto-immunity also apply to many mental health issues as well. I'm beginning to think of the modern diet as the "death of a thousand cuts".