Utilizing AI tools, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have uncovered a potential link between sleep, gastrointestinal health, and challenging behaviors associated with profound autism, such as self-injury and aggression. Published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, their study offers insights that could enhance the care and well-being of individuals with profound autism.
People with profound autism often require constant care, and the occurrence of self-injurious and aggressive behaviors poses safety concerns for both individuals and their caregivers.
The research, conducted with the assistance of The Center for Discovery, a Center of Excellence serving those with medical and developmental disabilities, found that gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea and constipation, could predict next-day challenging behaviors in one out of five adolescents with over 80% accuracy. Additionally, poor sleep quality, characterized by difficulties falling asleep or frequent nighttime awakenings, had an impact on behavior.
The study’s findings hold promise for improving the lives of individuals with profound autism and could aid caregivers in predicting and addressing challenging behaviors. While more research is needed, this work showcases the potential of AI in enhancing healthcare practices for those with autism spectrum disorders.