Journal of Undergraduate Research


microbiota composition trends, high risk ASD, autism


Life Sciences


Plant and Wildlife Sciences


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition which significantly affects an individual’s social behavior and ability to function in daily living. Although there is a genetic component to the disorder, current research suggests that there are other factors that influence the onset of the disease. One of these factors is the gut microbiota of the individual. Because the human microbiome is a complex system that significantly varies from person to person, finding microbial markers indicative of certain disease can be challenging and problematic. Currently, there are no established protocols that can diagnosis an individual with autism on any criteria save their behavior, meaning that the youngest age at which a child can be diagnosed is about 2 years of age. In addition, so far the majority of this research has shown only correlative links between autistic individuals and the microbiome, with the mechanism of how the microbiota might affect the brain to induce such symptoms requiring much elucidation. In performing this study, we hoped to add to or corroborate the findings of other studies that are similarly attempting to demonstrate the presence of significant microbial markers in ASD individuals.

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