The research team in the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Mass. General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) is doing a research study to learn if a gluten-free/dairy- (casein) free diet is helpful in improving gastrointestinal symptoms associated with autism.
This is a 14-week study requiring between 5 and 9 office visits. All study-related activities, including physical exams, blood samples and allergy testing - and an amino acid-based supplement drink, are at no cost. Appointments will take place at MGHfC in Boston, or at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, or at the Lurie Center/LADDERS in Lexington.
To take part in this research study you must be:
- A child between 2 and 17 years old and weigh at least 24 ¼ pounds
- Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Experiencing at least 1 gastrointestinal symptoms like:
Reflux (may show signs such as frequently clearing
throat, chewing on things, tapping fingers on throat,
food refusal, jaw thrusting, arching of back or sleep
Abdominal pain (such as signs of pain after eating
and/or self-injurious behavior)
Suspected food allergy
- Willing to follow a gluten free-dairy free diet for 12 weeks
- Willing to drink 2 cartons (juice-box size) of an amino acid based supplement drink daily for 12 weeks
- Willing to eat 3 tablespoons of starch/protein-containing powder mixed into food or liquid every day for 12 weeks.