Has anyone heard the 60s science podcasts on Scientific American? Well, this was our assignment for class today. So here’s my podcast, Bacteria – Food for the Brain! :[audio https://a.tumblr.com/tumblr_n02f3jz2gS1s35k25o1.mp3]
The gut-microbiome-brain connection in autism recently made head waves in the scientific realm. A study published in PlosONE (Kang D-W et al., Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children) analysed intestinal flora in fecal samples of neurotypical and autistic children.
The study revealed a less diverse gut flora and a significantly lower abundance of carbohydrate-fermenting bacteria, particularly Prevotella, among autistic children. While these differences had no relationship with age, gender or dietary patterns, they showed strong positive correlation with the severity of autistic symptoms.
If this gut-brain conversation could be better studied and understood, scientists might not only be able to develop quantitative diagnostic biomarkers, but also generate targeted treatments for autism.