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Targeting microbial metabolites to treat autism

A first-in-class therapeutic that targets neuroactive microbial metabolites in the gut shows promising target engagement, safety and behavioral improvements in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

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Fig. 1: Treatment with AB-2004 improves gastrointestinal problems and non-core behavioral symptoms of ASD.


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R.D.H. is supported by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Brain Foundation, the Frimurare Barnhus Foundation and the European Union (ITN SmartAge, grant agreement number 859890). P.G. is supported by Inserm, the Université de Paris, the Horizon 2020 Framework Program of the European Union (grant agreement no. 874721/PREMSTEM), the ANR, the Fondation Grace de Monaco, the Fondation des Gueules Cassées and an additional grant from “Investissement d’Avenir-ANR-11-INBS-0011”–NeurATRIS. J.R.S. is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/W00139X/1) and Medical Research Council (MR/W003597/1).

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Correspondence to Rochellys Diaz Heijtz.

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Diaz Heijtz, R., Gressens, P. & Swann, J.R. Targeting microbial metabolites to treat autism. Nat Med 28, 448–450 (2022).

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