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Microbiome: A Potential Component in the Origin of Mental Disorders

George B. Stefano, Radek Ptacek, Jiri Raboch, Richard M. Kream

Department of Psychiatry, Charles University First Faculty of Medicine and General Teaching Hospital, Center for Cognitive Molecular Neuroscience, Prague, Czech Republic

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:3039-3043

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905425

Available online:

Published: 2017-06-21

ABSTRACT: It is not surprising to find microbiome abnormalities present in psychiatric disorders such as depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, etc. Evolutionary pressure may provide an existential advantage to the host eukaryotic cells in that it survives in an extracellular environment containing non-self cells (e.g., bacteria). This phenomenon is both positive and negative, as with other intercellular processes. In this specific case, the phenomenal amount of information gained from combined bacterial genome could enhance communication between self and non-self cells. This can be coupled to both pathological processes and healthy ones.
In this review, we chose to examine potential associated disorders that may be coupled to the microbiome, from the perspective of their bidirectional communication with eukaryotic cells in the gut. Cognition, being the newest neural networking functionality to evolve, consumes a good amount of organismic energy, 30% of which arises from the gut flora. Furthermore, the mammalian gut is highly innervated and has a highly developed immune component, reflecting brain complexity.
The brain-gut axis uses similar molecular messengers as the brain, which affects bacterial processes as well. Thus, any modification of normal bacterial processes may manifest itself in altered behavior/cognition, originating from the gut. The origin of some disorders associated with this bidirectional communication may be harnessed to restore normal functioning.

Keywords: Microbiota - physiology, Psychiatry - history, Depression - microbiology, Fecal Impaction - psychology