Neuroscientists Consider the Effect of the Gut on the Brain

A review article published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology summarizes the latest research on the role that microbiota in the gut play in brain function and mental health. While the research on this topic is new, and many open questions remain, experts are hopeful that bacteria-based interventions may be developed in the future that have a positive impact on mental health. “The past five years have seen an amazing increase in our knowledge of how bacteria signal to the brain and the implications this has for psychiatry,” the researchers, led by Jane Foster of the McMaster University Brain-Body Institute, write in their overview of the topic. “The communication of gut microbiota with the brain, through what is referred to as the microbiota-gut-brain axis, represents a new biological axis by which…

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