Caused by a little understood blend of genetic and environmental factors, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are increasingly being linked to the microbiome. For one, some children with ASD have different gut microbes than healthy controls. And research has found that the gut microbiome and its metabolic by-products play a major role in normal brain and behavioral development.
New research suggests that probiotics may improve microbiome abnormalities in children with ASD; some data show that behavior may also be improved with probiotics.
However it is difficult, most experts would agree, to make recommendations for treatment because of methodological limitations of the studies. Leaps in technology should correct and speed up some of those issues.
IPA spoke with John Slattery, Director of Research and Innovation at Aces Health, who has done over a decade of clinical research on autism. Aces Health automates clinical research, data capture and analytics for modern trials. Slattery attended the Global Engage conference in San Diego in early November. Watch his segment above.
Other research on autism involving Slattery and colleagues: