Quality journalism by ECU students

ECU Daily

Moods and the microbiome

Oliver Pomeroy

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A new paper shows that there may be a link between the bacteria in the stomach and anxious and depressive behaviours.

The research was conducted at the University College Cork, a leading research institution in Ireland and it focused on the bacteria in the stomach microbiome of rats. Microbiome is the name given to the hordes of microorganisms living in a particular environment, such as the body or even just part of the body, in this case the stomach.

The study analysed two key variables and found that the absence of microbiome bacteria during key windows of neurodevelopment affected the regulation of microRNAs in the brain.

But what does that mean? It means that without the bacteria in the stomach, it is possible for microRNAs to cause anxiety-like behaviours. (MicroRNAs are a type of molecule that can control other genes.)

A lead researcher on the paper, Dr Gerard Clarke said that an upshot of the finding is it may be possible to treat anxiety by making changes to microRNAs in the brain.

He said: “Research in this area has faced several challenges, for example, finding safe and biologically stable compounds that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and then act at the desired location in the brain.”

But he is optimistic that there might be a work-around for this issue.

“Out study suggests that some of the hurdles that stand in the way of exploiting the therapeutic potential of microRNAs could be cleared by instead targeting the gut microbiome.”

Psychobiotics are a relatively new category of probiotics that could also target neurological or psychiatric illnesses. Dr Clarke says the prospect of using them to affect microRNAs is an “appealing prospect”.

A number of other studies have already linked gut bacteria to depression, showing that the bacteria plays a role in mood regulation.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Can you tell what’s real or fake?

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Languages falling silent

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Prevention better than cure

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Diet and exercise can relieve asthma symptoms

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Africa’s Democratic Dogs

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Think you’re Gluten Intolerant? Probably not

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Better treatment for type 1 diabetes

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    WTF is CMT!?

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    Coffee or craving?

  • Moods and the microbiome

    Health and Science

    BMJ: 13 reasons why we need tougher TV rules

Quality journalism by ECU students
Moods and the microbiome