Common link between autism, diabetes identified
A new study has revealed a possible link between autism and type 2 diabetes.
Autism and ASD are neurological disorders that have a strong but poorly understood genetic basis.
`It appears that both Type 2 diabetes and autism have a common underlying mechanism-impaired glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia,` said Rice University biochemist Michael Stern, author of the paper.
Hyperinsulinemia, often a precursor to insulin resistance, is a condition characterized by excess levels of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin resistance is often associated with both obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
`It will be very easy for clinicians to test my hypothesis,` said Stern, professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice. `They could do this by putting autistic children on low-carbohydrate diets that minimize insulin secretion and see if their symptoms improve.`