Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is primarily considered a condition affecting the brain, however evidence increasingly implicates ASD as a ‘whole systems condition’, with symptoms and features in the peripheral nervous system, immune system and digestive system. Of particular note is the high rate of gastrointestinal symptoms, which are present in roughly half of adults with ASD and which correlate positively with ASD severity. Furthermore, there is evidence of disruption of the gut microbiota (GM) – the community of microorganisms living in the gut.
However, the relationship between the GM and the clinical and cognitive features of individuals with ASD is unclear. Further still, the mechanisms in which the GM influences brain and behaviour in individuals with ASD has not yet been established. This is important because a better understanding of gut-brain communication in ASD could lead to novel intervention strategies for GI problems. Therefore, we plan to study the occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms of participants and the activity of the vagal nerve (done by heart rate and breathing rate) as well as the occurrence of clinical symptoms and performance on cognitive measures.
You may be eligible to take part in AUTIMM if:
- You are aged 18-50
- English is your first language
- You are not currently taking/have taken antibiotics or psychiatric medication in the last six months
- You are able to travel to our London Bridge Campus for testing
Click the link below to read the study information sheet.
Please note that we are currently not asking participants to provide biological samples (including stool, blood or saliva).
If you have any questions about the study, or want to take part, please use the contact form below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.