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Links Found Between ADHD, Altered Gut Mycobiome

In a paper appearing in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, a team from Taiwan compares gut microbial community features of dozens of children with or without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), focusing on fungal components making up the mycobiome. Using targeted internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region amplification and sequencing, the researchers identified fungal taxa in fecal samples from 35 children with ADHD and as many unaffected controls, identifying an overrepresentation of fungus from the Candida albicans species, Candida genus, and Ascomycota phylum in samples from ADHD-affected children, along with a decline in fungal representatives from the Basidiomycota phylum. In their follow-up cell line experiments, meanwhile, the authors found that secretions stemming from C. albicans can boost cell permeability, consistent with the so-called leaky gut hypothesis suggesting disease-related inflammation in the body and brain may occur if bacteria escape the gut and enter the bloodstream. "To the best of our knowledge, the current study is the earliest to explore differential gut mycobiome profiles using ITS sequencing between patients with ADHD and healthy control subjects," the authors report, explaining that the "human body is home to a complex and diverse microbial ecosystem, and findings from this study suggest that dysbiosis of the fungal mycobiome in ADHD can influence patient health."