Targeting gut bacteria to treat autism
Connections between microbes in the human gut and the brain are beginning to reveal paths to potential new medical treatments for autism. Scientists have already linked changes in the biology of the gut to neurological disorders, including epilepsy, depression and autism spectrum disorders. They now know gut microbes send signals to the brain in numerous ways. Fulton Schools Professor Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown (at left in picture), an environmental engineer, is among leading experts in the connection between autism and the human microbiome. Her work with fellow Fulton Schools Professor James Adams, a materials engineer, has led to a treatment being shown to ease some symptoms of autism in children with the disease. They plan to expand their research to better understand the dynamics of interactions between the microbiome and the brain in the hope of developing more types of promising treatments.