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Fecal transplants result in massive long-term reduction in autism symptoms

•, Nick Lavars

Another example of this are the emerging ties between gut health and autism, with an exciting new study demonstrating how boosting microbial diversity via fecal transplants can dramatically reduce its symptoms in the long term.

One in every 59 children born in the US is diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and unfortunately for many of them, chronic gastrointestinal issues are a harsh reality of their condition. According to scientists at Arizona State University (ASU), who conducted the new study, around 30 to 50 percent of autism sufferers experience serious gut problems like constipation, diarrhea and stomach pain.

"Many kids with autism have gastrointestinal problems, and some studies, including ours, have found that those children also have worse autism-related symptoms," says ASU's Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown,. "In many cases, when you are able to treat those gastrointestinal problems, their behavior improves."

The new study builds on earlier research from 2017 that found introducing new bacteria via fecal transplants in 18 autistic children brought about marked improvements in their behavior, as measured through questionnaires assessing their social skills, hyperactivity, communication and other factors.

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