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Research on Microbiota Transfer Therapy in Patients with ASD
August 28, 2019
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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. 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, and has funding for her research from many federal agencies including NIH. She is author of 5 patents and more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. She specializes on molecular microbial ecology for bioremediation, the use of microbial systems for bio

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