Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a Seriously affecting all aspects of the individual neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests within the first 5 years of life and tends to persist into adolescence and adulthood. ASD, including the less severe Asperger syndrome, is not a single disorder but a broad range of conditions sharing a triad of core symptoms:
  • Impaired social and responsiveness behavior
  • Limited or absent verbal communication
  • Restricted patterns of interests and activities carried out repetitively


Many individuals with ASD can suffer from other co-occurring morbidities such as epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. The intellectual abilities of people with ASD span from severe mental retardation to superior levels. Some people with ASD leads an independent life, while others need less or intensive support.

ASD affects much more males than females (the ratio males: females = 5: 1) and its prevalence has increased dramatically in the last decades affecting worldwide 1 in160 children.

As for causes triggering ASD, causative genetic factors have been found only in about 30% of patients. For all the remaining, scientific evidences suggest an interaction of genetic and environmental factors still to deepen. Among environmental factors, great attention is given to gut The complex of microorganisms resident in the gut whose composition is linked to health and disease since an abnormal intestinal flora that may affect the central nervous system, has been found in individuals with ASD.

An effective cure for ASD is not available but physical and psychosocial interventions, requiring a range of integrated services, are needed and early diagnosis and treatment leads to positive outcomes later in life