Authors: Rachel West, Emily Roberts, Lubov S Sichel and John Sichel
Publication: Journal of Probiotics & Health
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently exhibit gastrointestinal (GI) distress. They often have deficiencies of beneficial intestinal microflora, which may lead to inflammation or immune dysfunction, malabsorption, food intolerance, failure to thrive, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. We conducted a survey of caregivers for ASD children with GI distress receiving delPRO™, a nutritional supplement consisting of a mixture of five probiotic strains formulated with the immunomodulator del-IMMUNE V® (Lactobacillus rhamnosus V lysate). Caregivers assessed ASD signs and symptoms before and after 21 days of treatment using the autism treatment evaluation checklist (ATEC). Almost half of the respondents (48%) reported decreases in diarrhea severity and 52% reported decreases in constipation severity (n=25). Caregivers reported an increase in stool frequency, from one movement every 1.5 days to every 1.3 days, although this change was not statistically significant. Overall, 88% reported a decrease in total ATEC score, signifying an improvement of ASD symptoms. Mean ATEC values decreased from 72.8 prior to treatment to 58.3 following treatment initiation. Participants also had significant improvements in all ATEC domains (speech/language/communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical/behavior). Since this was a survey of caregivers for ASD children with GI distress receiving delPRO™, there was no control arm of no-treatment or placebo. Accordingly, these survey results need to be validated in controlled clinical trials. These data suggest that probiotic/immunomodulator delPRO™ may have significant benefit in the treatment of GI distress and other ATEC signs and symptoms among this population.