CEE Seminar: Can Changing Gut Bacterial Communities Improve Gastrointestinal and Autism Symptoms?
Changes in gut microbiota have been associated with weight loss, diabetes remission, and enhanced GI health in humans. Recent studies in human cohorts and mouse models have also demonstrated a link between gut microbiota and autism. Driven by these findings, we hypothesized that altering the gut microbiota in children with autism would improve gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms. Intestinal microbiota transplantation is a promising therapy to restore dysbiotic gut microbiota by transferring thousands of bacterial species to a recipient's gut. We pioneered an autism-targeted, open-label clinical trial of a microbiota modification therapy that included a fecal microbiota transplant component. I will present an overview of the gut microbiome, some therapeutic approaches, and share results of this promising trial.