quarta-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2014

The Brain–Gut Axis and Neuropsychiatric Disease: A Paradigm Shift

by Kayt Sukel
December 16, 2014
In the past decade, scientists have learned that the microbiome, or the diverse population of microbes
housed in the human gut, influences far more than our gastro-intestinal health. In fact, scientists have
discovered that the brain and the gut are in almost constant communication, sending various
neurocrine and endocrine signals back and forth. Our emerging understanding of the microbiome and
its influence on the brain, according to Emeran Mayer, director of the Center for the Neurobiology of
Stress at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), means that neuroscience will have to make a
profound paradigm shift—and start looking beyond the central nervous system when studying brain
development and disease.
“As our understanding of the microbiome grows, we see a new opportunity for new questions and
new understanding of brain disorders ranging from autism and depression,” Mayer says. “It’s a
paradigm shift—and it’s opening up whole new avenues of study to look at diseases of the central
nervous system, redefining those diseases and, then, it’s our hope, new avenues in treating them.”
Mayer and colleagues presented some of this research at a special symposium entitled “Gut Microbes
and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience” at this year’s Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Meeting in
Washington, DC.

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