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Probiotics for Quality of Life in Autism Spectrum Disorders

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02903030
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 16, 2016
Results First Posted : February 5, 2020
Last Update Posted : February 5, 2020
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Autism Treatment Network
Autism Speaks
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
L. Eugene Arnold, Ohio State University

Brief Summary:
A randomized pilot trial of a probiotic for quality of life in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), targeting gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Autism Spectrum Disorders Anxiety Drug: Maltose (placebo) Drug: Visbiome Extra Strength Early Phase 1

Detailed Description:
The physical and mental/emotional health of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are closely connected. The emerging data on immune abnormalities and gut microbiome differences, and interactions of the genome with these suggest a possible etiological link between physical and mental dysfunction, especially the gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction and severe anxiety that many individuals with ASD manifest. The investigators have preliminary clinical evidence that children with ASD & GI symptoms differ in microbiome composition and function from neurotypical children with GI symptoms. The investigators hypothesize that altered host-microbial signals, which include altered fecal neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels contribute towards anxiety and sensory over-responsivity in ASD. Our preliminary findings also show that probiotic Visbiome Extra Strength, improves GI and pain symptoms, correlating with altered gut microbiome composition and related metabolites (the macrobiome). The proposed crossover trial will explore the possibilities of this new appreciation of the microbiome-mental/physical function connection for ASD, GI dysfunction, and anxiety. If altering the gut microbiome results in better GI and emotional function, it could improve the quality of life for children with ASD and their parents. A pilot trial with 12 children with ASD will test feasibility for a proposed three-site crossover randomized clinical trial (RCT) of probiotics (beneficial bacteria including Lactobacilli & Bifidobacteria) in 60 children 3-12 years old with ASD, GI dysfunction, & anxiety. In a balanced crossover children will be randomized 1;1 to Visbiome or placebo first, 8 weeks per condition with 3 weeks washout between. The investigators have access to significant fecal microbiome and metabolome data from NIH-funded Human Microbiome Projects (HMP) on similar-age healthy and irritable-bowel children, with and without ASD. These will help leverage our understanding of macrobiome changes that correlate with functional improvement of GI and abdominal pain symptoms. Pilot study efficiency will also benefit from those HMPs having already collected and analyzed baseline stools for some children with ASD, thus saving significant costs for baseline stool analyses for the pilot.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 13 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Probiotics for Quality of Life in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Study Start Date : August 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 1, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : December 1, 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Visbiome, Then Placebo
The probiotic mix (VISBIOME) will be mainly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, in view of the previously reported encouraging clinical studies and safety data.
Drug: Visbiome Extra Strength
It is a mix of 8 strains of beneficial bacteria that should improve gut flora, improving GI function and hopefully anxiety

Placebo Comparator: Placebo, Then Visbiome
Placebo matched to probiotic.
Drug: Maltose (placebo)
Maltose with a trace amount of silicon dioxide
Other Name: Maltose with silicon dioxide




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Gastrointestinal (GI) Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) at From Baseline at Week 8 [ Time Frame: Baseline and Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]
    A 74-item survey with 14 scales. Report forms for specific age ranges assess the parent's perception of the child's GI function and/or symptoms during the last month on a 5-point scale from 0 (never a problem) to 4 (almost always a problem). Items are reverse-scored and transformed to a 0-100 scale so lower scores reflect worse GI dysfunction. Response choices are in Likert-scale format ranging from 0 to 4 (0=Never, 1=Almost Never, 2=Sometimes, 3=Often, 4=Almost Always).


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Target Symptom Rating From Baseline at Week 8 [ Time Frame: Baseline and Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]
    Parents are asked to name the 2 problems of most concern to them at baseline; a clinician helps the parent quantify and describe the problem (frequency, duration, severity, interference with daily life) at baseline. At subsequent visits the clinician reminds the parent of the previous description and helps them again quantify/describe the current state. A panel of blind clinicians reviews the descriptions and rates each on a 9-point scale relative to baseline, from remission (0) to disastrously worse (9), with 5=no change. These ratings are averaged, capturing the issues of most concern to parents across families. For purposes of this study, one of the 2 problems will be required to pertain to GI function, and will be analyzed separately as well as being averaged into the overall symptom rating.

  2. Change in Parent Anxiety Checklist--ASD From Baseline at Week 8 [ Time Frame: Baseline and Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]
    A 25-item single-factor scale measure of emotional stability/anxiety. Higher scores are worse for PRAS-ASD subscale, hence a negative estimate means more improvement with the probiotics compared to control. Scores range from 0-75.

  3. Change in The Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) From Baseline at Week 8 [ Time Frame: Baseline and Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]

    The ABC is a 58-item parent rating on a 0-3 scale with five subscales:

    • Irritability (includes agitation, aggression, and self-injury, 15 items) with range of scores from 0-45
    • Social Withdrawal (16 items) with range of scores from 0-48
    • Stereotypies (7 items) with range of scores from 0-21
    • Hyperactivity (16 items) with range of scores from 0-48
    • Inappropriate Speech (4 items) with range of scores from 0-12.

    Higher scores are worse for the ABC subscale, hence a negative estimate means more improvement with the probiotics compared to control.


  4. Change in Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) From Baseline at Week 8 [ Time Frame: Baseline and Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]
    This 65-item rating scale measures the severity of autism spectrum symptoms as they occur in natural social settings. The SRS provides a clear picture of a child's social impairments, assessing social awareness, social information processing, capacity for reciprocal social communication, social anxiety/avoidance, and autistic preoccupations and traits. It is appropriate for use with children from 4 to 18 years of age and will detect changes in core ASD symptoms. A higher score in this scale represents worse symptoms with raw scores summed and generated t-scores ranging from 0-110.

  5. Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) at Week 8 [ Time Frame: Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]
    It includes 33 items rated retrospectively over the previous week by parents yielding a total score and eight subscales. Eight subscales include: (1) bedtime resistance (2) sleep onset latency, (3) sleep duration, (4) anxiety around sleep, (5) night awakenings, (6) sleep disordered breathing, (7) parasomnias and (8) morning waking/daytime sleepiness.Total score (summed) range of 0-99. A higher score is a better outcome for this measure.

  6. Change in The Parenting Stress Index Short Form (PSI) [ Time Frame: Baseline and Week 8 of Both the First and Second Intervention ]
    The PSI is used to evaluate the degree of stress in the parent-child relationship. The Short Form has 36 items from the full length PSI, rated on a 5-point scale from 1 = strongly disagree, to 5 = strongly agree. It is completed in 10-15 minutes. The PSI may be used for parents of children up to 12 years. It yields a Total Score and three domain scores. This will detect effect on parental stress and QOL. Higher scores (ranging from 0-180) are worse for PSI, hence a negative estimate means more improvement with the probiotics compared to control.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


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Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years to 12 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. have DSM-5 ASD on clinical evaluation by a doctoral-level diagnostician, confirmed by Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised or Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule;
  2. be between 3 and 12 years old;
  3. have >2 mo. abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and/or vomiting, with an item-mean score >2 on at least one scale of the GI module of the PedsQL scale;
  4. have clinical anxiety symptoms with an item mean of >1.0 (0-3 scale) on the new Autism Anxiety Scale.

Participants will be recruited from minority, poor, inner city, or rural populations.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Antibiotics in 2 months prior to enrolling;
  2. Prior bowel surgery;
  3. Chronic serious medical condition (e.g., diabetes);
  4. Weight or height < 3rd %ile for age;
  5. Chronic anti-inflammatory use within 2 months prior to enrolling;
  6. History of inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac disease, or eosinophilic disorders (e.g., eosinophilic esophagitis);
  7. Already taking probiotics within the previous 6 months.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02903030


Locations
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United States, Ohio
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43210
Sponsors and Collaborators
Ohio State University
Autism Treatment Network
Autism Speaks
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Eugene Arnold, MD Ohio State University
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by L. Eugene Arnold, Ohio State University:
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Responsible Party: L. Eugene Arnold, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Ohio State University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02903030    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2016H0174
First Posted: September 16, 2016    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: February 5, 2020
Last Update Posted: February 5, 2020
Last Verified: January 2020
Keywords provided by L. Eugene Arnold, Ohio State University:
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Autistic Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Silicon
Trace Elements
Micronutrients
Nutrients
Growth Substances
Physiological Effects of Drugs