Gastrointestinal Factors in Autistic Disorder: A Critical Review

  • Craig A. Erickson
  • Kimberly A. Stigler
  • Mark R. Corkins
  • David J. Posey
  • Joseph F. Fitzgerald
  • Christopher J. McDougleEmail author


Interest in the gastrointestinal (GI) factors of autistic disorder (autism) has developed from descriptions of symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea in autistic children and advanced towards more detailed studies of GI histopathology and treatment modalities. This review attempts to critically and comprehensively analyze the literature as it applies to all aspects of GI factors in autism, including discussion of symptoms, pathology, nutrition, and treatment. While much literature is available on this topic, a dearth of rigorous study was found to validate GI factors specific to children with autism.


Autistic disorder; gastroenterology; pathophysiology 



This work was supported in part by a Daniel X. Freedman Psychiatric Research Fellowship Award (Dr. Posey), a National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award (Dr. Posey), a Research Unit on Pediatric Psychopharmacology Grant (U10-MH66766-02) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to Indiana University (Drs. McDougle, Stigler, and Posey), a Research Career Development Award (K23-MH068627-01) from NIMH (Dr. Posey), a National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center Grant to Indiana University (M01-RR00750), and a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Grant No. B-01-SP-IN-0200 (Dr. McDougle).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig A. Erickson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kimberly A. Stigler
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark R. Corkins
    • 2
    • 3
  • David J. Posey
    • 1
    • 3
  • Joseph F. Fitzgerald
    • 2
    • 3
  • Christopher J. McDougle
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for ChildrenIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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