Microbiota-gut-brain axis is at epicenter of new approach to mental health

February 27, 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers
OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology. Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers

The functional gut microbiome provides an exciting new therapeutic target for treating psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and trauma-related conditions. Innovative methods for studying and intervening in gut microbiome composition and activity to treat mental illness and maintain mental health are presented in a timely review article that is part of the "Microbiome Special Issue: Food, Drugs, Diagnostics, and Built Environments" of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, the peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

In the article "The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: Implications for Anxiety- and Trauma-Related Disorders," Stefanie Malan-Muller, Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch, South Africa) and coauthors review the emerging findings of microbiome research in . They encourage the community to embrace microbiome science as a new frontier of biological psychiatry and postgenomic medicine.

"Culturomics: A New Kid on the Block of OMICS to Enable Personalized Medicine," an article coauthored by Manousos Kambouris, The Golden Helix Foundation (London, U.K.) and University of Patras (Patras, Greece) and colleagues, examine the new field of culturomics and how it may widen the scope of microbiology and expand its contributions to diagnostics and personalized medicine. The researchers also explore potential applications in agriculture, environmental sciences, pharmacomicrobiomics, and biotechnology innovation and the value of the Big Data produced by culturomics.

Kieran O'Doherty, University of Guelph, Canada, and coauthors discuss the opportunity and challenges for integrating human microbiome research into clinical practice to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with . The authors describe how patient-specific microbiome data could help guide therapeutic decision-making in the article entitled "Human Microbiome and Learning Healthcare Systems: Integrating Research and Precision Medicine for Inflammatory Bowel Disease."

Vural Özdemir, MD, Ph.D., DABCP, Editor-in-Chief of OMICS, has commented that "microbiome projects are booming and unraveling the microbial dark matter from humans and animals to built habitats on our planet. Microbiome research will continue to bring about insights into human health, disease susceptibility, and mechanisms of person-to-person variations in response to food, drugs, vaccines, and other health interventions, thus supporting precision medicine and the discovery of innovative diagnostics."

Explore further: Linking mental health and the gut microbiome

More information: Stefanie Malan-Muller et al. The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: Implications for Anxiety- and Trauma-Related Disorders, OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1089/omi.2017.0077

Related Stories

Linking mental health and the gut microbiome

August 23, 2017
Better understanding the gastrointestinal microbiome may help psychiatrists treat mental health disorders such as depression, highlights a review in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

How do the bugs in your gut affect neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases?

August 9, 2016
A growing body of scientific and medical evidence continues to shed light on the complex interaction between metabolic pathways affected by microrganisms living in the human gut and gene expression, immune function, and inflammation ...

Researchers ID microbiome genes tied to asthma

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—Functional genes in the upper airway microbiome may be tied to childhood asthma, according to a study published Nov. 20 in Allergy.

Microbiome intervention with niacin aids insulin sensitivity

December 18, 2017
(HealthDay)—A targeted microbiome intervention, accomplished through microencapsulated delayed-release niacin, beneficially affects insulin sensitivity in humans, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in Diabetes ...

The role of the gut microbiome in posttraumatic stress disorder: More than a gut feeling

October 25, 2017
The bacteria in your gut could hold clues to whether or not you will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a traumatic event.

Could the gut microbiome be a new therapeutic target for multiple sclerosis?

July 6, 2016
An increasing number of clinical studies are pointing to a link between the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS) and the composition of microbes in the human gut, sparking new research on the gut microbiome as a potential ...

Recommended for you

Human 'chimeric' cells restore crucial protein in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

March 16, 2018
Cells made by fusing a normal human muscle cell with a muscle cell from a person with Duchenne muscular dystrophy —a rare but fatal form of muscular dystrophy—were able to significantly improve muscle function when implanted ...

Team develops 3-D tissue model of a developing human heart

March 16, 2018
The heart is the first organ to develop in the womb and the first cause of concern for many parents.

Democratizing science: Researchers make neuroscience experiments easier to share, reproduce

March 16, 2018
Over the past few years, scientists have faced a problem: They often cannot reproduce the results of experiments done by themselves or their peers.

Genetic variant discovery to help asthma sufferers

March 16, 2018
Research from the University of Liverpool, published today in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, identifies a genetic variant that could improve the safety and effectiveness of corticosteroids, drugs that are used to treat a range ...

Researchers say use of artificial intelligence in medicine raises ethical questions

March 15, 2018
In a perspective piece, Stanford researchers discuss the ethical implications of using machine-learning tools in making health care decisions for patients.

Study identifies potential drug for treatment of debilitating inherited neurological disease

March 15, 2018
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have demonstrated in mouse studies that the neurological disease spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) can be successfully treated with drugs. The finding paves the way for ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.