Research Shows New Information on the Link Between Anxiety and Gut Bacteria
A recently published research has shed new light on how the gut bacteria can influence a behavior of anxiety. Investigating this link between the anxiety levels and the gut bacteria, the group of researchers from the University College Cork, funded by Scince Foundation Ireland, found out that there was a change in the biological molecules of the brain called microbe free mice.
They are reared in a germ free bubble and usually display abnormal levels of anxiety, increased levels of depression and a deficit in cognition as well as sociability.The gut bacteria seems to be influencing this part of the brain, and this is quite important because the prefrontal cortex is the one responsible for your levels of anxiety as well as depression.
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This is why the dysfunction in the gut bacteria is believed to be an underlying factor that is contributing to the stress related psychiatric disorders, neurodevelopmental abnormalities and neurodegenerative diseases. This will change the brain and will ultimately show anxiety like behaviors.
It may be possible to modulate these changes in the brain for the treatment of the psychiatric disorders, but the research in this particular area has so far faced a lot of challenges, and the first one was finding safe and biologically stable compounds that are able to focus on the desired parts of the brain. This is why this study showed how the obstacles that stand in the way of getting to the desired parts of the brain can be easily removed by targeting the gut microbiome.
This study suggests how the healthy microbiome is essential for appropriate regulation of these parts of the brain. Some previous research showed how the manipulation of the gut microbiome has its effects on the anxiety like behavior, but this is the first time that the gut has been directly liked to the prefrontal cortex.
The authors of this study note that there is not a clear way of explaining how the gut bacteria actually influences parts of the brain. Even though the study clealry shows the effects in more than one species (because it was done on rats as well as on mice), there is further research to be done to as how can the connection between the brain and the gut bacteria be possible, and explain the anxiety like behaviors before these findings are translated into clinical setting.
The main researcher of this study claims that this is only the early stage research but the actual possibility of reaching the desired impact from the gut microbiome on the prefrontal cortex, for an example by putting into use some psychobiotics, is a prospect that all researchers find to be most appealing.