Many studies have reported abnormal gut microbiota in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), suggesting a link between gut microbiome and autism-like behaviors. Modifying the gut microbiome is a potential route to improve gastrointestinal (GI) and behavioral symptoms in children with ASD, and fecal microbiota transplant could transform the dysbiotic gut microbiome toward a healthy one by delivering a large number of commensal microbes from a healthy donor. We previously performed an open-label trial of Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) that combined antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, a stomach-acid suppressant, and fecal microbiota transplant, and observed significant improvements in GI symptoms, autism-related symptoms, and gut microbiota. Here, we report on a follow-up with the same 18 participants two years after treatment was completed. Notably, most improvements in GI symptoms were maintained, and autism-related symptoms improved even more after the end of treatment. Important changes in gut microbiota at the end of treatment remained at follow-up, including significant increases in bacterial diversity and relative abundances of Bifidobacteria and Prevotella. Our observations demonstrate the long-term safety and efficacy of MTT as a potential therapy to treat children with ASD who have GI problems, and warrant a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in the future.
The study described in this recording – Long-term benefit of Microbiota Transfer Therapy on autism symptoms and gut microbiota – is online here.
Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown is an Associate Professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and The Built Environment and the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University. She Joined the SSEBE faculty in 2007. She has Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech. She was awarded an NSF CAREER award, was selected as one of 40 under 40 leaders in Phoenix, AZ. Funding for her research has come from many federal agencies including NIH, DoE, DoD, and NSF. She pioneers research on gut microbiome and autism and is the author of 3 patents and more than 90 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Krajmalnik-Brown specializes in molecular microbial ecology for bioremediation, the use of microbial systems for bioenergy production, and the human intestinal microbial ecology and its relationship to obesity, bariatric surgery, and autism. Learn more about study enrollment and donations supporting the Krajmalnik-Brown Lab.
10/2/2019 - A study from the University of Missouri adds to evidence that behavior problems in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be an indication of gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Bradley Ferguson
ARI partially funded research leading up to a new study that gut microbiota is sufficient to promote autism-like behaviors in mice. June 11, 2019 -- In a study published
William Parker, PhD is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine. His research interests include the promicrobial aspects of the immune