Dae-Wook Kang et al have demonstrated long-term beneficial effects of microbiota transfer therapy (MTT) in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The researchers had previously conducted an open-label trial of microbiota transfer therapy in a cohort of 18 children in 2017. The study involved 10 weeks of treatment, including pre-treatment with vancomycin, a bowel cleanses, a stomach acid suppressant, and fecal microbiota transfer daily for seven to eight weeks. Two years since the study, a follow up conducted by researchers revealed significant improvements in gastrointestinal and autism-related symptoms in accordance with an increase in gut microbiota. Scientists reported a 45% decrease in ASD symptoms compared to baseline. At the start of the study, 83% of participants were rated to have severe autism. At the end of the study, only 17% were severe, 39% were found to have moderate, and 44% were below the cut-off for moderate ASD. The findings showed persistence of change in gut microbiota involving an increase in overall diversity and abundance of beneficial microbes including Bifidobacteria and Prevotella. The results encourage intensive MTT intervention as a promising therapy for treating children with ASD who have GI problems. The researchers recommend in conducting future research involving larger cohort trials.
Source: Scientific Reports April 9, 2019 volume 9, Article number: 5821 (2019) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-42183-0