There is likely no other area of medical research with more potential for reducing the suffering of chronic disease than the billions of tiny passengers inside our guts.
There is increasing evidence showing that the dynamic changes in the gut microbiota can alter brain physiology and behavior. Cognition was originally thought to be regulated only by the central nervous system. However, it is now clear that the gut-resident bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract, regulate and influence cognitive dysfunction as well as the process of neurodegeneration and cerebrovascular diseases.
Controllable factors such as diet can have a massive effect on the composition of the microbiota for good or ill. Microbes release molecules that trigger inflammation throughout the central nervous system.
Many recent studies have shown that neuroinflammation contributes greatly to the development of neurological disorders such as
The most critical mechanisms of action in the development of downstream neurological dysfunction include:
Change of blood-brain barrier permeability allowing harmful bacteria and proteins to enter and damage the brain
brain vascular physiology
The following table illustrates the results of recent rodent studies and the effects of the presence or absence of strains of bacteria in the gut.