gut-brain axis

This shows bacteria

Gut microbes protect against neurologic damage from viral infections

A healthy and diverse microbiome is essential for quickly clearing viral infections in the nervous system to prevent risks associated with multiple sclerosis. Mice with lower gut bacteria had weaker immune responses and were unable to eliminate viruses, leading to worsening paralysis. Those treated with antibiotics before infection had fewer microglia. ... Read More...
This diagram shows how a-synuclein travels from the gut to the brain via the vagus nerve

New research shows Parkinson’s disease origins in the gut

A new study adds to the growing body of evidence that Parkinson's disease may start in the gut. Researchers found gut-to-brain propagation of alpha-synuclein spread via the vagus nerve. The study provides a more accurate model of Parkinson's progression and could lead to new treatments to halt or prevent this neurodegenerative disease.... Read More...
This shows a drawing of bacteria

Gut bacteria influence autism-like behaviors in mice

Using germ-free mouse models, researchers transplanted fecal bacteria from children on the autism spectrum and neurotypical children. Mice who received the transplants from the ASD cohort began to exhibit autism-like behaviors, whereas the mice who received transplants from typically developing children did not. Additionally, the mice showed altered gene expression in their brains and differences in types of metabolites present. In particular, the ASD mice had lower levels of 5AV and taurine. Findings suggest gut microbiota regulates autism-like behaviors via the production of neuroactive metabolites, providing further evidence for the gut-brain axis connection to the pathology of autism.... Read More...
This shows a diagram of the gut

Bacteria in fermented food signal the human immune system, explaining health benefits

A metabolite produced by lactic acid bacteria binds to the third hydroxycarboxylic acid receptor (HCA), signalling the immune system. Researchers believe the receptor evolved to allow great apes to consume foods that were starting to decay. They suggest the receptor could mediate some beneficial and anti-inflammatory effects of lactic acid in humans, and could serve as a target to treat inflammatory diseases.... Read More...
This shows slides from the study

How stressed-out gut bacteria may trigger autoimmune response

Chronic social stress in mice induces the expression of virulent genes in the gut microbiota. The altered microbiota increases the presence of effector T helper cells in the lymph nodes and induces myelin autoreactive cells. Exposure to chronic stress, therefore, may increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases for some individuals with a susceptibility.... Read More...