Toledo Legal News - News OSU study finds fecal transplant alleviates some autism symptoms

 

A new study led by Ohio State University researchers has found that a fecal transplant in autistic children with gastrointestinal distress eases some of the behavioral symptoms in addition to rebalancing the gut.

The study, which was published in the journal Microbiome, explored the link between behavioral symptoms of autism and gastrointestinal distress and found improvement in both conditions following a fecal transplant and subsequent treatment.

In the study of 18 children with autism and moderate to severe gastrointestinal problems, parents and doctors said they saw positive changes that lasted at least eight weeks after the treatment, a university press release detailed.

Children without autism were included for comparison of bacterial and viral gut composition prior to the study.

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

"Following treatment, we found a positive change in gastrointestinal symptoms and neurological symptoms overall."

Gregory, along with her adviser and co-author Matthew Sullivan, conducted the research while at the University of Arizona. Other lead researchers on the project are from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.

Previous research had established that children with autism typically have fewer types of some important bacteria in their guts and less bacterial diversity overall - a difference that held true in this study. The cause could be attributed to prescription of antibiotics in the first three years of life, researchers believe.

Gregory used genetic testing to examine the viral diversity in the guts of the treated children, which rebounded quickly, becoming more similar to the donor's microbiome.

"Those donor viruses seemed to help," she said.

In the study, the researchers used a method called microbiota transfer therapy, which started with the children receiving a two-week course of antibiotics to wipe out much of their existing gut flora, the press release explained.

Doctors next gave them an initial high-dose fecal transplant in liquid form.

In the seven to eight weeks that followed, the children drank smoothies blended with a lower-dose powder.

There currently exists no approved pharmaceutical treatment for autism.

The Arizona Board of Regents, the Autism Research Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation offered support in the study.

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

5 tips to keep your home secure from hackers

(BPT) Times have changed. It's no longer enough to protect your physical home, it's also vital you stay safe from cybercrimes. It has become increasingly easier for criminals to gain access to financial accounts, email and even hack internet-connected devices in the home.

Date Published: May 26, 2017

Proposed program aims to improve water quality in Ohio

Finding the balance between robust agricultural production, clean water and a tax base to support local institutions is the aim of the proposed Ohio Water Quality Improvement Program, championed in a bill before members of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

Date Published: May 26, 2017

Where to find rebates, tax credits and rewards for energy-efficient home improvements

(BPT) If you're planning to make some home improvements this year, you're probably thinking about energy-efficient options, knowing they can save you money in the long run. However, many eco-friendly home improvements that help lower your energy bills can also pay off right away in the form of rebates and tax credits.

Date Published: May 26, 2017

Changing weather patterns leave homeowners underinsured

(BPT) The U.S. has experienced significant shifts in the frequency, severity and locations of natural disasters - including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires - during the past decade.

Date Published: May 25, 2017

Juvenile justice: Courts, counsel and kids

This month marks the 50th anniversary of a watershed ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court for the treatment of juveniles in the nation’s courts. The 1967 In re Gault decision held that youth are entitled to many of the same rights adults have when encountering the judicial system – the right to an attorney, the right to have an attorney appointed if not able to afford one, the right to remain silent, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to confront witnesses against them.

Date Published: May 25, 2017

Toledo named to 16-team Preseason WNIT Field

Toledo has been selected as one of 16 teams to participate in the 2017 Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament this upcoming season, the WNIT recently announced.

Date Published: May 25, 2017

Three UT Rockets named to Academic All-MAC Team

Junior Colin Joseph, junior Stephen Watts and sophomore Spencer Shoemaker have been named to the 2016-17 Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, the league office recently announced. The trio represents UT on the 21-player list which honors student-athletes' achievements both on the golf course as well as in the classroom.