Multiple Mental Illnesses Associated With Common Gut Bacteria

Oct, 2021 - By WMR

Multiple Mental Illnesses Associated With Common Gut Bacteria

A new study found that many psychiatric conditions including depression and bipolar disorder are related to a common environment in the gut bacteria of patients.

According to a study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry on September 15, 2021, different mental illness like bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia are associated with common microbiome perturbations. These microbiomes are described by lack of anti-inflammatory generating bacteria and higher amount of pro-inflammatory bacteria. The research suggests that in mental illness treatment, awareness of gut health is equally important.

The human gut is a home to various bacteria, some could be healthy and some could be harmful. This large community of microoraganisms include bacteria, viruses, fungi and other types of microorganisms. There are many studies that indicate the key role gut microbateria carries out in the development of mental illness. To find out existence of a more common gut bacteria signature shared in many psychiatric conditions, a team of scientists from UK studied 59 cases of individuals having different mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, ADHD, OCD, PTSD and anorexia nervosa. The research found consistent low levels of faecalibacterium and coprococcus in the people suffering depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and psychosis. These two bacteria generate an anti-inflammatory effect in the gut. The team also found that high level of Eggerthella, a bacterium that has pro-inflammatory effects, occurs in the people with these mental disorders.

Furthermore, the scientists claim that the research has not yet established biomarkers for particular illness, however, it shows that there is a significant connection between gut health and mental illness, especially in high levels of certain pro-inflammatory bacteria compared to anti-inflammatory bacteria. In conclusion, the common environment shared by gut bacteria in major depressive disorders is characterized by low anti-inflammatory producing bacteria and higher level of pro-inflammatory bacteria. The health of gut microbiota is equally important as mental health in people with such mental disorders.

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