MADISON, Wis. — Giving children with autism a healthier mix of gut bacteria as a way to improve behavioral symptoms continued to work even two years after treatment ended.
In previous studies, environmental engineer Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown of Arizona State University in Tempe and colleagues discovered that children with autism had fewer types of bacteria living in their guts than typically developing children did.
In a small study of 18 children and teenagers with autism, the scientists gave kids fecal transplants from healthy donors over eight weeks.
During and two months after the treatment, the kids had fewer gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and indigestion than before the therapy.
The real surprise was that the kids’ autism symptoms continued to lessen two years after the therapy ended.