Children with ASD Carry Different Gut Bacteria Than Their Non-Affected Siblings

Manipulation of the Microbiome May Ease Digestive Problems and Autism Symptoms

Data presented to researchers last month at the 2021 Society of Neuroscience Global Connectome showed that children with autism have a different set of bacteria lining their guts than that of their neurotypical siblings. A team of researchers came to this conclusion after they recruited 111 families to engage in their report. Each family had two children, one affected and one not, that were born within two years of each other and were between the ages of 2 to 7 years old. After analyzing microbial genetic material from 432 stool samples, the researchers found eight bacterial genetic sequences that were present more often in the guts of the children with autism than in their siblings. Additionally, there were three sequences of bacteria that were less likely to be in the child with autism than their non-affected sibling. The authors of this report want to further analyze gene expression, inflammatory markers and metabolites in these samples. More studies are needed to examine the possibility of treating and manipulating the microbiome leading to the alleviation of gastrointestinal issues which plague many individuals with autism. 

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