Infant Probiotic Exposure Reduces ADHD or Aspergers Risk
Written by Editor   
Friday, May 01, 2015 12:00 AM

Recent experimental evidence suggests that gut microbiota may alter function within the nervous system providing new insight on the mechanism of neuropsychiatric disorders.  This study of seventy-five infants who were randomized to receive Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) or placebo during the first 6 mo of life followed-up its participants for 13 years.

The study concludes that probiotic supplementation early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood possible by mechanisms not limited to gut microbiota composition.

Gut microbiota was assessed at the age of 3 weeks, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 months, and 13 years using fluorescein in situ hybridization (FISH) and qPCR, and indirectly by determining the blood group secretor type at the age of 13 year. The diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger syndrome (AS) by a child neurologist or psychiatrist were based on ICD-10 diagnostic criteria.

At the age of 13 years, ADHD or AS was diagnosed in 6/35 (17.1%) children in the placebo and none in the probiotic group. The mean (SD) numbers of Bifidobacterium species bacteria in feces during the first 6 months of life was lower in affected children 8.26 (1.24) log cells/g than in healthy children 9.12 (0.64) log cells/g; P = 0.03.