Autism and ASD are neurological disorders that have a strong but poorly understood genetic basis. It surfaces in the first 3 years of life and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.
Although a very active area of research, the precise cause is still unknown, but there seems to be a common suggestion that there are more than likely a combination of factors.
One area of interest has been diet - specifically the effects of gluten (wheat, rye and barley) and casein (milk, cheese and other dairy products).
A recent theory comes from Michael Stern, a Rice University biochemist, who believes the same processed foods that causes diabetes may also cause autism. Stern also suggests that glucose tolerance in pregnant women may be a subject of more earnest interest in light of his findings.
Dr. Stern found a compelling connection between diabetes and autism's impaired glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia and states; "It will be very easy for clinicians to test my hypothesis...they could do this by putting autistic children on low-carbohydrate diets that minimize insulin secretion and see if their symptoms improve."
The same could be said for the gluten and casein theory.
Read more here.
Science Daily/ Rice University (2011, October 19).