Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Small Study Finds Fecal Transplant May Benefit Patients with Autism



Though the study was small, involving only 18 children with autism, the beneficial effects remained for a minimum of 8 weeks post-treatment.

Share this!

January 24, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

Researchers at Ohio State University have found that fecal transplants reduced some of the symptoms associated with gastrointestinal distress, as well as behavioral traits associated with autism. Though the study was small, involving only 18 children with autism, the beneficial effects remained for a minimum of 8 weeks post-treatment.

Children with autism often suffer from gastrointestinal problems, which can range from stomach pain to diarrhea. Fecal transplants involve collecting microbe-rich fecal samples from healthy individuals and introducing them to patients with gastrointestinal imbalances. These fecal transplants have been investigated as a potential treatment for numerous conditions, including antibiotic-resistant infections and ulcerative colitis.

“Transplants are working for people with other gastrointestinal problems,” said Ann Gregory, a microbiology graduate student at The Ohio State University, and one of the authors on the study. “And, with autism, gastrointestinal symptoms are often severe, so we thought this could be potentially valuable.”

Previous research has shown that autistic children often have a less-diverse microbiome, which has been attributed to heavy antibiotic use during infanthood. Differences in the microbial makeup of the gut in patients with autism were confirmed in the current study, using samples collected from non-autistic children as a comparison.

Using a scale to rank gastrointestinal symptoms, the researchers found patients’ symptoms were reduced by an average of 82 percent after receiving the fecal transplant. What’s more, parents reported improvements in their children’s behavioural symptoms during the study.

“Following treatment, we found a positive change in GI symptoms and neurological symptoms overall,” said Gregory. According to the researchers, the microbiome of patients with autism was near-identical to their healthy counterparts at the end of the study.

As this was a small, non-blinded observational study, there are limits to how this result can be interpreted. However, a larger clinical trial is in the works to assess whether fecal transplants could be a potential treatment for autism.

Keywords: Autism, Gastrointestinal, Microbiome


Share this with your colleagues!

Gilead’s Newest Hepatitis C Drug Gets FDA Approval

July 21, 2017 - Dominant player in the chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) market Gilead has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its newest treatment, Vosevi.

Featured In: Pharmaceutical News

Detecting Alzheimer’s Biomarkers in the Blood Could Improve Early Diagnosis

July 20, 2017 - In an effort to improve rates of early diagnosis and intervention, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a blood test that can detect some of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Featured In: Biotech News

Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act Supports Clinical Trial Enrollment, Says Study

July 20, 2017 - Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, insurance approval for patients wishing to participate in oncology clinical trials has increased, according to a recent study published in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News


Manufacturing Control Strategies: What Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies Need to Know


Outsourcing Pharmacovigilance: Pros and Cons and Lessons Learned

EDC and eSource: Combined for Better Data and Faster Insights

Using Model Reduction to Bridge the Quality Systems Pharmacology-Pharmacometrics Divide

How to Maximize Your Non-GLP Toxicology Studies: A Guide for Optimal Design and Methodology

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.