Using germ-free mouse models, researchers transplanted fecal bacteria from children on the autism spectrum and neurotypical children. Mice who received the transplants from the ASD cohort began to exhibit autism-like behaviors, whereas the mice who received transplants from typically developing children did not. Additionally, the mice showed altered gene expression in their brains and differences in types of metabolites present. In particular, the ASD mice had lower levels of 5AV and taurine. Findings suggest gut microbiota regulates autism-like behaviors via the production of neuroactive metabolites, providing further evidence for the gut-brain axis connection to the pathology of autism.
The gut microbiome contributes to depression-like behaviors and inflammation in the ventral hippocampus, according to a new rat study. Fecal transplants from rats with lower levels of Clostridia reduced depressive behaviors and inflammation in vulnerable rodents.
Arizona State University researchers claim microbiota transfer therapy reduces symptoms associated with autism and gastrointestinal problems for two years post-treatment. The study suggests MTT may be a promising option for helping to treat children with ASD who also have GI problems. The researchers stress further research, including double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trials with a larger cohort be carried out.
According to researchers, probiotics may not be as effective as most believe. Researchers report many people's digestive tracts prevent standard probiotics from successfully colonizing them.
Researchers report a link between gut bacteria and psychological distress associated with obesity. Switching mice to high fat diets, researchers reported the animals experienced more depressive and anxiety symptoms. These were improved when antibiotics that alter the gut bacteria were administered.
Researchers report positive cognitive benefits for patients with hepatic encephalopathy who receive fecal bacteria transplants in addition to antibiotic therapy.