#Microbes #Digestive #Tract, #Mental #Health

“Recent studies have supported the gut microbiome, the collection of microbes in the digestive tract, as important for mental health,” the study’s corresponding author, Simon J. Evans of the University of Michigan, told PsyPost. “There are effects on brain development from early influence of the gut microbiome as well as effects in adults to modulate behavior and mood. We leveraged these studies to test the hypothesis that the gut microbiome may be different in individuals with bipolar disorder compared to controls; and further that specific microbiome profiles might associate with burden of disease in patients with bipolar disorder.”

By analyzing stool samples, the researchers compared the gut microbiome of 115 individuals with bipolar disorder to a control group of 64 healthy individuals.

They found that the gut bacteria of bipolar and control subjects were significantly different. In particular, individuals with bipolar disorder had less of a beneficial human gut microbe known as Faecalibacterium. Reduced levels of Faecalibacterium were associated with more severe bipolar symptoms.

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