Article Text

SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT AND CHILDHOOD GASTROINTESTINAL SYMPTOMS: IS THERE A LINK?
  1. L Isotalo1,
  2. P Jousilahti2,
  3. E Savilahti3
  1. 1University of Helsinki, Department of Public Health, Network of Academic Health Centres, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3University of Helsinki, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract

Objective The aim of this study is to confirm a clinical suspicion of the connection between GI symptoms and (SLI). Data on gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and specific language impairment (SLI) is sparse and controversial. There is increasing evidence that nutrition plays an important role in many diseases, also neurodevelopmental disorders. Immune reactivity to dietary proteins may be associated with gastrointestinal inflammation. In autistic spectrum disorder children this inflammation was associated with aberrant innate immune response against endotoxin, a product of the gut bacteria. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the commonest cause of recurrent abdominal pain in children. In adults alterations in the microbiota composition are potential pathophysiological factors of IBS.

Methods The study population comprises of 56 children from City of Vantaa in Finland, with SLI diagnosis, and their age and gender matched controls. The average age was 6,9 years. The children and parents were interviewed of recurrent abdominal pain (defined as at least two episodes of pain during past 6 months), its frequency and intensity, etc. Statistical significance was assessed using sign-rank or McNemar-test.

Results More of patients than controls complained of recurrent abdominal pain (67% vs. 45% in controls, p = 0.035). Patients also complained of pain to occur more frequently (at least weekly) than controls, 32% vs. 9% (0.019) and of abnormal odour of the stools, 38% vs. 14% (0.017).

Conclusion In the early analysis there is no difference in atopy or laboratory findings of allergy, but we plan to explore this topic further.

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