Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Autism and Gut Microbiome

The strongest linkage of Autism can be seen with the gut microbiome or gut bacteria. Gut microbiome affects many different body functions and the cause of many different disorders. Researchers from CalTech performed an experiment on mice built on the previous work done of microbiome differences in autistic and non-autistic people.

The researchers bred mice to lack a microbiome and transplanted bacteria from autistic patients to one group of these mice. As they observed the mice, they noted that they began to show similar signs and symptoms of autism in humans. In addition, the brains of the mice altered in gene expressions. There were two metabolites that were lower in mice with the microbiota which affect GABA receptors in the brain.

Arizona State University noted that individuals with autism often have gastrointestinal problems more frequently than those without autism. Scientists explored microbiota transfer therapy for autistic children in order to resolve their gastrointestinal problems and see if it affected other markers of autism. In their study,  58% of the children’s gastrointestinal problems improved and 48% showed improved autism symptoms.

Microbiota transfer therapy showed to be successful over a 2-year period study but is seen as unethical to whether autism has symptoms or is neurodiversity. Autism is known to negatively and s everely impact the daily life of an individual with the disorder. For scientists to transfer gut bacteria in patients with autism to improve their symptoms is an amazing discovery and treatment option. There are more beneficial outcomes to this therapy than there are disadvantageous, therefore should be available to those who could improve from it.


  1. Reading this post as well as the article was extremely interesting. I would never have expected autism to be connected to the microbiome in the gut, rather I would expect it to be completely neurological. The fact that the research at ASU showed that 48% of people showed improved symptoms of autism is an amazing discovery. I know several people affected by autism and knowledge like this could change the medical world and change the disease all together. I do find it hard to understand how a treatment like this would not be permitted because it could help so many people. Perhaps sometimes the ethical issues need to be ignored and the quality of the actual patient needs to be the priority. This article should be shared around the world as much more research should look into the gut microbiome and autism.

    1. I agree completely. It makes me upset that this treatment isn't permitted because it can potentially improve quality of life for people who are autistic, and I don't see any harm in the treatment. Gut bacteria is something incredible for sure. Aside from gut bacteria being connected to autism, it affects many other illnesses (asthma, food allergies, immune system, and much more).