ASU gut microbe study shows promise as a potential treatment for autism | EurekAlert! Science News

"The key to fighting autism might lie not in the mind, but in the gut.

A team led by Arizona State University researchers is taking a novel approach the search for effective autism treatments by focusing on improving the gut microbiome through fecal microbial transplants.

Early results are promising, but additional testing is required before an FDA-approved therapy would be available or recommended to the public.

The team -- including collaborators from Northern Arizona University, Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota -- completed a study involving 18 participants with autism spectrum disorders who ranged in age from 7 to 16 years old. The results were recently published in the journal Microbiome.

Participants underwent a 10-week treatment program involving antibiotics, a bowel cleanse and daily fecal microbial transplants over eight weeks.

Past ASU research has shown ties between autism symptoms and the composition and diversity of a person's gut microbes.

The treatment program showed long-term benefits, including an average 80 percent improvement of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders and 20-25 percent improvement in autism behaviors, including improved social skills and better sleep habits."

'via Blog this'

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