Maybe it’s me who’s weird (ok – it’s definitely me who’s weird!), but unlike many people it seems, I don’t find the idea of the organisms of the biome, including worms (helminths), repulsive, nor do I think fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is disgusting…as someone commented this week on the Biome Buzz Facebook page. I’m talking about the latter today because I just finished reading a review article looking at its use in treating psychiatric disorders. As I read, all I could think was: if this can treat depression, anxiety disorders, autism, metabolic disorders, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, etc., all of which are often refractory to treatment – or completely untreatable right now – then people need to get over it. It’s not like you’re being served a big piece of poop on a plate. For the most part, FMT is done via endoscopy, enema, colonoscopy and these days, orally (in the form of what this article calls Microbial Ecosystem Therapeutis-2 (which is gut bacteria isolated from a healthy donor and purified and lab grown, and made into an oral probiotic product)). Sorry but…I just cannot understand the visceral reaction to something that has so much promise to alleviate so much suffering.
So a few key points from today’s article:
These scientists conducted a comprehensive literature search and isolated 28 studies which evaluated the effect of FMT on various psychiatric an physical symptoms.[i] 11 of these were animal studies, 9 were preclinical (animal) subjects with transplanted microbiota from humans, and 8 were exclusively human samples. Most studied symptoms were irritable bowel syndrome, chronic stress, depressive symptoms. A few highlights:
The authors conclude: “There is a great need for new therapeutic targets and treatments in order to provide options and better help individuals suffering from these psychiatric illnesses. When considering the findings demonstrated in this review, FMT appears to be a promising candidate for this.”
As the parent of a son diagnosed with autism who suffers from extreme anxiety and panic attacks almost daily (as do many of the individuals I teach who have autism), I am more than anxious for a reliable and non-invasive FMT product to become available. If you remember me talking about the Jim Adams studies on the topic awhile back (look at the link above as well as here)…well, as far as I’m concerned, that product cannot hit the market soon enough.
[i] Chinna Meyyappan A, Forth E, Wallace CJK, Milev R. Effect of fecal microbiota transplant on symptoms of psychiatric disorders: a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry. 2020;20(1):299. Published 2020 Jun 15. doi:10.1186/s12888-020-02654-5
Category: Anxiety and PTSD, autism, Bacterial Microbiome, depression, Human Biome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mental Health, Metabolic Syndrome, microbiomeTags: anxiety, asd, bacterialmicrobiome, fecalmicrobiotatransplant, FMT, gutbacteria, health, IBS, Irritablebowelsyndrome, mentalhealth, microbes