Journal of IiMER nervous system and brain. Prospects for treatment Oral prebiotics and probiotics are being investigated for restoration of bacterial diversity and resolution of gastrointestinal diseases. Prebiotics are substances thought to improve growth of beneficial species, while probiotic supplements contain microbes known to be present in healthy guts. In order to be incorporated into a probiotic pill, bacteria must be grown in culture, but culture conditions for growing many of the bacterial species present in the human gut are not known. Thus, only a selection of certain species can be incorporated into commercially available probiotics. How these different species affect people with different types of gut microbiomes, and whether gastrointestinal illnesses can be improved with their aid is an important topic that is currently being explored in the research community being explored in the research community. www.investinme.org Because pure cultures of many gut microbes cannot be obtained, researchers have turned to faecal transplants, i.e. introduction of faecal material from healthy human donors into recipients. This treatment has cured some individuals with severe gastrointestinal dysfunction from Clostridium difficile infection. Whether this process can also help patients with other types of intestinal diseases and ME is less clear. Promising reports have appeared about improvements in ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and autism. With regard to ME, anecdotal reports from patients who have tried faecal transplantation indicate some reduction in symptoms, but not complete recovery nor persistent improvement in their conditions. One study of faecal transplantation indicated that 42/60 ME patients had a favourable response. The results are sufficiently promising to suggest that a clinical trial of faecal transplants in ME would be worthwhile. Page 29 of 82

30 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication