At Cell-El Ltd, we are also taking a high level of interest in Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) – also known as Fecal Microbial Transplantation (FMT) – to repair the microbial biofilms that live in all of our gastro-intestinal (GI) systems as an important part of the human microbiome. There is an increasing awareness of the biological roots of ASD, relating in large part to the health of the human microbiome. As background, while only representing 1 – 3% of body mass, each of us hosts up to 100 trillion non human cells (bacteria, fungi etc.) in our own individual microbiome – far outnumbering the 30 trillion human cells that make up every one of us.
Ongoing research demonstrates the profound importance of the human microbiome for human health including immune function and behavioral health, and MTT/FMT therapies show great promise for individuals with ASD (see Long-term benefit of Microbiota Transfer Therapy on autism symptoms and gut microbiota ) . A significant number children with ASD have been shown to have a variety of gastrointestinal issues (Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-analysis ).
MTT/FMT involves the harvesting of ‘good’ bacteria from the (GI) tract of healthy donors and transplanting it to repair the microbiome and improve immune function. In the case of children with ASD, it has been shown that the microbiome is lacking specific bacteria needed for a well-functioning immune system. Certain bacteria in the microbiome, e.g., clostridium, are typically associated in individuals with ASD with behavioral symptoms autism. In addition, we know that certain chemicals like serotonin and secretin associated with typical intellectual, social and behavioral development originate in the small intestine and travel to the brain. This ‘gut-brain axis’ has long been studied in individuals with ASD, and is starting to yield fruit in terms of microbiome interventions. Long term studies of individuals with ASD are starting to show substantial benefit from MTT/FMT treatment.
At Cell-El Ltd we are interested in studying the microbiome of children with ASD. We would like to be able to better understand what unique issues there may be in the microbiome of individuals with ASD. This could contribute to both better diagnostics of ASD and effective treatments. In the case of treatment via MTT/FMT, we would like to better understand both the biomarkers and ASD behaviors prior to treatment and what has changed following MTT/FMT.
Please join us in making a difference in the lives of children with ASD and their families! We are recruiting both participants who are typically developing as well as those dIagnosed with ASD. We are also looking for parents to help spread the word to others and thus enable this important tool to be integrated into Autism treatment as quickly as possible. And we want to hear from you about your concerns and challenges relating to ASD testing and related therapies. To contact us and learn more please click here.