Link Between Lipid Profile, eCBome System and Gut Microbiome in Fragile X Syndrome
Artuela Çaku, MD, PhD
Armita Abolghasemi, PhD
Université de Sherbrooke
2021-2023 Grant Funding: $90,000
Why does obesity challenge so many people with Fragile X syndrome? Dr. Caku’s team thinks changes in the gut are the culprit. This team has found that Fragile X syndrome causes changes in the tiny organisms that live in our gut. They believe that these abnormalities cause changes in the brain which impair learning and behavior.
With this grant, the researchers will test individuals with Fragile X. If they find the changes they expect to see, then treatments like probiotics or fatty acids might be effective in treating not just obesity, but a whole range of Fragile X symptoms.
By Artuela Çaku
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder characterized by mild-to-moderate intellectual disability. Many FXS patients have shown to be overweight or obese, while blood cholesterol levels are unexpectedly low. This abnormality suggests a dysregulation of lipid metabolism in FXS. Other factors may affect lipid metabolism such as the endocannabinoidome system (the fatty acids which are used to make endocannabinoids) and the gut microbiome. The endocannabinoidome system is a biological system composed of lipid derivative molecules while the gut microbiome includes bacteria, fungi and other types of microorganism which live in humans’ and animals’ digestive tracts. Each of these systems (endocannabinoidome and gut microbiota), individually and/or linked together affect lipid metabolism and have been studied in many cognitive diseases.
In this project, we are going to study lipids, endocannabinoidome and gut microbiota in Fragile X syndrome children and adults compare to controls. We believe that dysregulation in each or all of these systems may influence functional behaviors in FXS individuals. Discovering the changes that happen in lipids, endocannabinoidome, and gut microbiota in FXS may lead to next clinical studies that will test novel treatment.