Audisio, A.1; Laguzzi, J.1; Lavanda, I.1; Leal, M.1; Herrera, J.1; Carrazana, C.1; Cilento Pintos, C.A.2
Introduction: It has been suggested that peptides from gluten and casein may have a role in the origins of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which physiology and psychology manifestations might be explained by excessive opioid activity linked to these peptides.
Objectives: To determine the behavior modifications in relation to eye contact, social interaction, hyperactivity and gastrointestinal symptoms after the introduction of gluten – and casein- free diet (GFCF), perceived by parents of children with ASD.
Methods: Mixed, exploratory-descriptive, cross- sectional design. Sample: 30 parents of children with ASD and GFCF intervention. Survey: changes and/or improvements of the classic symptoms of autism and intensity of these changes after the implementation of a GFCF, based on parental report.
Results: 86.75 % (n= 26) showed improvement (moderate to severe changes) in any of the symptoms (gastrointestinal, hyperactivity, social interaction and eye contact). 60% joint features improvements in four symptoms and 30% in three symptoms. The proportion of children who improved the four characteristic symptoms of autism was higher among those who were longer time under this diet. Those receiving a nutritionist intervention were more likely to improve the four symptoms compared to those who had not (RR 1.9; CI95%= 1.1-1.3).
Conclusion: GFCF could be considered effective for improving one or more of the characteristic symptoms of autism.