Gastrointestinal problems including chronic constipation, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain are common in children and adults with ASD, and are resistant to standard treatments. We investigated a novel method of treatment, Microbiota Transfer Therapy. This therapy involved 2 weeks of oral vancomycin, a bowel cleanse, and 7-8 weeks of microbiota transplant. It was an open-label phase 1 study with a follow-up at two years post-treatment. We proved that with this treatment, the gut microbiome was changed, and that important changes including increased microbial diversity remained after two years. As a result of this microbiome change, at the end of treatment there was an 80% reduction in GI symptoms, a 23% reduction in autism symptoms, and an increase in microbiome diversity.
At a two year follow-up, most of the GI improvements remained (59% reduction compared to baseline), and there was a 47% reduction in ASD symptoms. Five factors in the early medical history of the children with ASD were different compared to controls, and likely contributed to the GI symptoms.
MTT is a promising therapy for treating GI disorders for autism, and randomized double-blind placebo-controlled studies are underway to further investigate this treatment.
Sponsored by NirvanaBiome and the Microbiome Foundation.
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