Gut Microbes & Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

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    In News

    • New Research suggests that the gut microbiome plays an important role in relieving symptoms of  autism spectrum disorders.

    What are Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

    • ‘Autism spectrum disorder’ (ASD) is the term for a group of neurodevelopmental disorders where children exhibit  impaired social interactions, lack verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and display restricted and repetitive behaviours.
    • These characteristics can adversely affect one’s cognitive abilities and, over time, diminish one’s quality of life.

    Research Findings

    • Research indicates the presence of various gastrointestinal problems, like constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, and bloating in children with ASD.
    • Taking forward the learnings of  the “second human genome project”, which has found that The gut microbiome has a big impact on immune modulation and metabolic activities. This research observed that abnormal  antigen trafficking happens through an impaired intestinal barrier (caused by an imbalance in the gut biome) allowing the antigens to reach the brain, triggering a chain of events that worsen ASD symptoms.
      • Immune modulation refers to the efforts of the immune system to ensure that its response is proportionate to a threat.
    • The researchers suggest reinstating  balance in the gut microbiome with techniques like faecal microbial transplantation (FMT) could lessen many problems children with ASD face and improve their quality of life.
      •  Faecal microbial transplantation (FMT) is a medical process to restore balance in the gut microbiome by  transplanting stool samples from healthy individuals into the large intestines of affected children.

    Source: TH