The Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis: A Primer for Clinicians

The brain-gut-microbiota axis provides a bidirectional route of communication between the gut microbes and the brain. The axis involves the vagus nerve, short-chain fatty acids, tryptophan, cytokines and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

New evidence suggests that gut microbes are involved in neural development and function, both peripherally in the enteric nervous system and centrally in the brain.

Recent studies show marked differences in the microbiomes of patients with major depression and healthy controls. Those with depression show decreased microbial diversity. This has clinical implications.

Certain bacteria might confer positive mental health benefits.  These “psychobiotics” may influence the capacity to deal with stress, reducing anxiety.  Whether they are capable of acting like antidepressants remains to be seen.

Join renowned researcher Dr. Ted Dinan, of the University of Cork, and principal investigator at APC Microbiome, for an in depth exploration of the Brain-Gut-Microbiota axis and its potential clinical applications.

Dr. Dinan will share some of his own research, including a landmark study showing

that rats receiving fecal transplant from depressed humans developed a depressive, pro-inflammatory phenotype with alterations in corticosterone release and tryptophan metabolism. He’ll also summarize the recent clinical research, including studies of microbiota transplants from healthy subjects to patients with Parkinson’s disease may help alleviate symptoms.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is the brain-gut axis?
  • How do gut microbes communicate with the brain?
  • How is the gut microbiota altered in disorders such as depression and Parkinson’s disease?
  • What are psychobiotics/live biotherapeutics?
  • Can bacteria be used to treat stress-related disorders?

This webinar is sponsored by HOWARU® probiotics, a DuPont™ Danisco® ingredient brand.

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