The connection between food, the gut microbiota and brain development has long been described, and evidence supporting the use of exclusion diets for improving symptomology associated with disorders such as autism has been documented. There is increasing anecdotal evidence coming from Angelman syndrome (AS) families that elimination of particular foods (e.g. dairy, gluten) from the diets of their children can produce dramatic improvements in their symptoms.
The Children’s Health Research Institute in Brisbane will be recruiting up to 70 individuals with AS (including some unaffected AS Siblings) across Australia to investigate the occurrence of food sensitivity in AS and the relationship between food sensitivity and gut microbiota dysbiosis in children with AS compared with unaffected siblings. This project will also utilise the Global Angelman Syndrome Registry to demonstrate how the information be utilised to further understand Pathophysiology within the syndrome. In the event that food sensitivity and/or gut dysbiosis are more prevalent in the AS population this could lead to dietary intervention to help reduce or alleviate symptoms.