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Arch Hellen Med, 34(5), September-October 2017, 628-635


The involvement of the intestinal microbiome in neuropsychiatric diseases

M. Gogou
Second Department of Pediatrics, "AHEPA" University General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Experimental and clinical studies have demonstrated that the intestinal microbiome plays an important role in general homeostasis, and in the development and functioning of the central nervous system. The microbiome is associated with the pathogenesis of various neurological and psychiatric disorders, including neurodegenerative disorders, multiple sclerosis, autism, myalgic encephalomyelitis, schizophrenia and major depression. It has been shown that patients with these disorders exhibit differences in intestinal microbiome synthesis from that of healthy controls and also differences in blood concentrations of various microbiota products (e.g., lipopolysaccharides, short chain fatty acids). The underlying pathophysiological mechanism includes the production of pathological molecules, with effects on synaptogenesis, and modification in the production of cytokines. Interventions aimed at modification of the intestinal microbiome, such as administration of probiotics and fecal transplantation, may constitute alternative therapeutic approaches, but their mechanism and effect need further investigation.

Key words: Gut-brain axis, Intestinal microbiome, Neurodegenerative diseases, Neurological disorders, Psychiatric disorders.

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