Long-term outcomes with faecal transplant in autism


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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New findings support the long-term efficacy and safety of faecal microbiota transplant in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have gastroenterology (GI) problems.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, examined the two-year outcomes for 18 patients who had participated in an open-label trial of microbiota transfer therapy that combined antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, a stomach-acid suppressant and faecal microbiota.

Two years after treatment, most participants said GI symptoms remained improved compared with baseline. There was a 58 per cent reduction in Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) score. The improvement in GI symptoms was observed for all sub-categories of GSRS (abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhoea and constipation).

Based on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, the severity of ASD at two-year follow-up was 47 per cent lower than baseline, compared with 23 per cent lower at the end of week 10. At the beginning of the open-label trial, 83 per cent of participants rated in the severe ASD diagnosis. At the two-year follow-up, only 17 per cent were rated as severe, 39 per cent were in the mild to moderate range and 44 per cent of participants were below the ASD diagnostic cut-off scores.