Food and Behaviour Research

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Long-term benefit of Microbiota Transfer Therapy on autism symptoms and gut microbiota

Kang DW, Adams JB, Coleman DM, Pollard EL, Maldonado J, McDonough-Means S, Caporaso JG, Krajmalnik-Brown R (2019) Sci Rep.  2019 Apr;9(1): 5821. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42183-0. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here

Abstract:

Many studies have reported abnormal gut microbiota in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), suggesting a link between gutmicrobiome 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 TransferTherapy (MTT) that combined antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, a stomach-acid suppressant, and fecal microbiota transplant, and observed significant improvements in GI symptomsautism-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.