Autism & # 39; could someday be treated with a probiotic pill & # 39 ;: mice that had bowel movements from autistic children developed brain disease symptoms because scientists say intestinal bacteria can be blamed
- Researchers at the California Institute of Technology did the research on mice
- They found repetition and antisocial behavior in the animals
- But the faecal transplants had no effect if they came from a child without autism
- The autistic symptoms of mice can be reduced by giving them certain chemicals
Mice with faeces of human children with autism developed signs of the disorder, scientists claim.
Rodents that received fecal transplants were less likely to socialize and more often develop repetitive behavior.
Researchers were adamant that their research did not show that bacteria in the intestinal tract caused an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology said their research adds weight to the growing notion that gut bacteria can affect autism (stock image of bacteria)
However, they believe the findings could lead to new treatments for the condition, such as probiotics.
The study adds further weight to existing suggestions that intestinal bacteria can play a role in causing the spectrum disorder.
& # 39; This opens up the possibility that ASD can be treated by therapies that focus on the gut rather than the brain, & # 39; said principal investigator, Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian.
Dr. Mazmanian, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), stated that it even includes other & # 39; classical neurological disorders & # 39; could help.
The researchers implanted the feces of children with autism in the stomachs of mice in a laboratory to investigate the gut bacteria theory.
WHAT DO SCIENTS KNOW ABOUT THE LINK BETWEEN AUTISM AND MIDDLE?
Research is underway into a possible link between autism and the types of bacteria that live in someone's gut.
Shandong University in China published a study this month that shows that children with autism have a unique mix of organisms that live in their digestive system.
The scientists found abnormalities possibly from the mothers of the children, whose gut bacteria can affect the development of their baby's brains.
And they suggested that certain bacteria could block chemical messages in the brain, which could change it.
The gut bacteria can be useful as a target for autism treatments, with scientists at Arizona State University who can alleviate symptoms by implanting healthier organisms.
In a study in the US state, 18 children have already reduced the severity of their symptoms by 45 percent after faecal transplants from children without the spectrum disorder.
Many of the children in the study had reclassified their autism from severe to & # 39; mild to moderate & # 39; or even completely removed from the spectrum.
While the gut bacteria – also known as the microbiome – caused autistic symptoms when it came from an autistic child, it had no effect if it came from a healthy child.
& # 39; There are many factors that complicate autism in humans than in mice, & # 39; said Dr. Mazmanian.
& # 39; In mice, we can model but not reproduce the symptoms of the condition.
& # 39; However, this study provides indications for the role that the gut microbiota plays in neural changes associated with ASD.
& # 39; It suggests that ASD symptoms may one day be resolved with bacterial metabolites or a probiotics drug. & # 39;
It is believed that as many as one in 60 children has ASD, which can affect their ability to communicate, understand things and control their emotions.
It is considered a disability, although its severity can vary widely between people and many patients can lead normal lives.
The cause of the mental disorder is not well understood and as such there is no way to cure people.
Mice with symptoms that were induced were observed to sniff, push and wrestle with the other mice less often than normal, The Guardian reported.
They also squeaked less and were more likely to bury marbles in their cages in an obsessive way, while the other mice would only bury a few before giving up.
Obsessive, repetitive behavior is a well-known sign of autism in people, as well as a reduced ability or willingness to talk and communicate with others.
The scientists discovered that they could reduce the symptoms of autism by administering certain chemicals (taurine and 5-amino valeric acid).
Although they don't give people & # 39; false hope & # 39; wanted to give, they told The Guardian, the researchers suggested that chemicals like this should be scaled up for people.
The team's research was published in the journal Cell.
WHAT IS A FAECIAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANT? THE BIZARRE PROCEDURE PAYING BACTERIA IN THE STOMACH
Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the transfer of faeces from a healthy donor to the gastrointestinal tract of a patient.
WHAT CAN IT TREAT?
It is usually used to treat recurrent C. difficile infection – spread by bacterial spores in the faeces. It is 90 percent effective.
It can also be used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, but the success rates are much lower.
Recent studies have investigated the benefits of treating conditions associated with a poor balance between & # 39; good & # 39; and & # 39; bad & # 39; bacteria in the intestines, such as autism.
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the transfer of stool from a healthy donor to the gastrointestinal tract of a patient
FMT can supplement the bacterial balance because it acts as a probiotic, with faecal samples that often contain up to 1,000 different types of bacteria.
HOW IS IT CARRIED OUT?
The transplant is complete through tubes – inserted into the nostril, throat and stomach – or directly into the colon.
However, the faecal sample can also be transplanted by enemas or pills containing freeze-dried material.
IS IT SAFE?
There have been reports of patients with unexpected weight gain after treatment, periods of vomiting and even abdominal pain.
However, the long-term safety and effectiveness of FMT is relatively unknown and researchers have asked for more studies to determine the risks.
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