Autism's Gut/Brain Connection: Can the Microbiome Influence Neurodevelopment?
December 9, 2014•15 min
Host: Paul Rokuskie
Associations between autism and gastrointestinal health are being actively investigated in medical research. Two major projects, each spanning three years, are focusing in particular on intestinal bacteria, ie the microbiome, and constipation, respectively. Leading the charge on these investigations are Drs. Pat Levitt and James Versalovic. Dr. Levitt is Chair of Developmental Neurogenetics at Children's Hospital - Los Angeles (CHLA), while Dr. Versalovic is Chief of the Department of Pathology at Texas Children's Hospital. Their work seeks to better understand how the human microbiome impacts neural health and development, and how refined treatments aimed at changing this potential "gut/brain axis" may aid therapies for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The funding for the research project that Dr. Pat Levitt and Dr. James Versalovic are conducting is awarded by a grant from Autism Speaks.