Exploring the connections between chronic fatigue, behaviour, and gut microbiome dysbiosis in children with neurodevelopmental disorders


Every person has healthy bacteria, called microbes, that are with them from the time they are born. These microbes usually help keep us healthy. The ones that help us digest our food are called the gut microbiome. We are interested in how the gut microbiome impacts fatigue and behaviour for children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders. We are asking youth with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and their siblings to provide stool and breath samples that can be analyzed for biomarkers. The goal of this study is to validate our protocols for biomarker identification. The overall purpose of this research study is to understand the interaction between the gut microbiome and co-occurring conditions in NDDs such as fatigue and behaviours of concern. Ultimately, these biomarkers may help in early diagnosis and developing new treatments.

Roles and Responsibilities
As part of this study, your children will be asked to provide stool and breath samples at 3 different time points. We will also ask you some questions about your children’s health, sleep, and behaviour.

Time Commitment
The total time commitment is anticipated to be 15-20 hours over the course of 6 months with 3 study visits to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Compensation will be offered at rate of $50 per study visit per child; $150 total per child, $300 for each sibling pair.


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible ages: 3 to 18

Accepts healthy participants: Yes

Inclusion criteria:

1. Child or youth ages 3 to 18 years old AND
2. Diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., Autism, ADHD, intellectual disability) AND
3. Behaviours of concern AND
4. Chronic fatigue OR
5. Sibling of a child or youth who meets the above eligibility requirements


Fill out the following form if you want to participate in this research

Method of contact

Additional information

Contact information

Dr. Sarah MacEachern

Principal investigator:

Sarah MacEachern

Clinical trial:




External links

PN Lab Projects