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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Study Supports the Link Between Autism and Gut Microbes

New Study Supports the Link Between Autism and Gut Microbes. The study in which autistic children were given daily fecal microbial transplants yielded improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms by 80% and behavioral symptoms by 20-25%. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disorders categorized by a range of symptoms and behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that 1 in 68 children fall on this spectrum. That number continues to rise as awareness of the condition grows. A new method of treating ASD is being investigated by researchers from Arizona State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota. Using past research that concluded that there were ties between ASD and gut microbe diversity as a foundation, the team attempted to make the gut microbiome of children with autism more closely resemble that of non-ASD children. The researchers hoped that by performing fecal microbial transplants, which are typically used to treat recurrent C. difficile colitis, a condition that can cause serious digestive problems, the composition of the treated children’s microbiome would be changed and symptoms of the disorder would be mitigated. The study involved 18 children between the ages of seven and 16 with autism. Each child took part in a 10-week course of treatment involving antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, and daily fecal microbial transplants. The testing produced some promising results, including an 80 percent improvement of gastrointestinal symptoms and 20 - 25% improvement in autism-related behaviors such as social skills and sleeping habits. source