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Management of Gut Microbiota to Improve Sleep Dysfunction for Children with Autism-Spectrum Disorders

Vasanth Senthilraja1, Ethan Yang1, Akshay Jakkidi Reddy1, Eric Liu2 and Himanshu Wagh3*

1California Northstate University College of Health Sciences, Rancho Cordova, USA
2University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA
3California Northstate University College of Medicine, Elk Grove, USA


Many children with Autism-Spectrum Disorders (ASD) struggle with sleep dysfunction. This can be caused by a lack of important gut microbiota (GM) that have the ability to influence functions of the nervous system through the gut-brain axis. The metabolites of GM function are responsible for influencing the production of pertinent sleep hormones, such as melatonin and serotonin. The research has identified lower abundance levels of the gut microbiota species Faecalibacterium and Agathobacter in children with ASD that struggled with sleep disorders. When exploring their impact on sleep hormone production, a positive correlation was
identified between these species of GM and melatonin levels, which regulates circadian sleep cycles. In addition, a negative correlation was observed between these species of GM and serotonin levels, which high levels of can lead to wakefulness
and sleep dysfunction. To improve GM levels in children with ASD, a Bimuno® galactooligosaccharide (B-GOS®) prebiotic intervention was tested in children with ASD. While this intervention led to improved GM levels and increased levels of Faecalibacterium growth, a significant difference was not noticed between groups. Furthermore, an analysis of probiotic intervention studies in various individuals revealed the ability to improve sleep metric scores through consumption of probiotics.
These findings can be further explored in children with ASD for potential treatments for sleep disorders.

Autism-spectrum disorders; Gut-brain axis; Gut microbiota; Melatonin; Serotonin;
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