Probiotics, brain activity and autism in Special Education

In response to the evolving needs of the global education landscape, European International University (EIU-Paris) has taken a transformative step by establishing a dedicated Special Education Department. This strategic move is not just a testament to EIU’s commitment to inclusivity but a proactive initiative to address the unique challenges faced by students with learning disabilities. The department serves as a beacon of accessible education, promoting equal opportunities and empowering both students and educators on a global scale along with research in this area.

One of our Faculty member at this department Dr. Hidaia Y. R. Alnajjar has concluded a recent study with her peers about how to better manage the brain activity of an autistic child. This research is essential to the advancement of knowledge and the development of new understanding to effectively manage better care and learning among such special pupils.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by challenges in communication, behavior, and social interaction(World Health Organization, 2023). The exact cause has not yet been identified, but growing evidence has linked dysregulation of the gut microbiota with the onset and severity of ASD. Indeed, several authors reported that children with ASD had altered their gut microbial compositions, exacerbating their symptoms, such as gastrointestinal problems and behavioral issues (Hsiao,

Recently, various studies have been conducted related to the role of probiotics on brain activity and their potential role in conditions such as autism. The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization define probiotics as live microorganisms that, when consumed in inadequate amounts, give multiple health benefits and are acquired through fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as dietary supplements (Hill & Guarner, 2014) . Research published in the Neurotheraputics Journal shows the positive effects of probiotics on brain function and activity. For example, the gut-brain axis is
a crucial controlling mechanism of different psychological and neurophysiologic processes. Moreover, research has revealed that probiotics can modulate this axis by synoptically modifying the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which plays a key role in regulating mood and behavior, in addition to decreasing inflammation in the gut as well (Cox & Weiner, 2018).

Finally, more research is needed to genuinely understand the benefits of probiotics for autism. The findings up to now are promising. Incorporating probiotic-rich substances into the food or taking a probiotic supplement after a healthcare consultation is a safe way to improve mental fitness and improve symptoms associated with ASD.

Submitted by Dr. Alnajjar of EIU-Paris

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References: Cox, L. M., & Weiner, H. L. (2018, January). Neurotheraputic Journal.
Hill, C., & Guarner, F. (2014, June 10). The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and
Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic.
Retrieved from National Library of Medicines:
Hsiao, E. Y. (2013). Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with
Neurodevelopmental Disorders. A Cell Press Journal.
World Health Organization. (2023, November 15). Retrieved from WHO

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