Abstract

Psychological comorbidity in gastrointestinal diseases: Update on the brain-gut-microbiome axis

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Dec 13;110209.doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110209. Online ahead of print.

Hannibal Person 1, Laurie Keefer 2

 
     

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA, One Gustave Place, Box 1656, New York, NY 10029. Electronic address: hannibal.person@mssm.edu.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA, One Gustave Place, Box 1656, New York, NY 10029.

Abstract

The high comorbidity of psychological disorders in both functional and organic gastrointestinal diseases suggests the intimate and complex link between the brain and the gut. Termed the brain-gut axis, this bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and enteric nervous system relies on immune, endocrine, neural, and metabolic pathways. There is increasing evidence that the gut microbiome is a key part of this system, and dysregulation of the brain-gut-microbiome axis (BGMA) has been implicated in disorders of brain-gut interaction, including irritable bowel syndrome, and in neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, and autism spectrum disorder. Further, alterations in the gut microbiome have been implicated in the pathogenesis of organic gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease. The BGMA is an attractive therapeutic target, as using prebiotics, probiotics, or postbiotics to modify the gut microbiome or mimic gut microbial signals could provide novel treatment options to address these debilitating diseases. However, despite significant advancements in our understanding of the BGMA, clinical data is lacking. In this article, we will review current understanding of the comorbidity of gastrointestinal diseases and psychological disorders. We will also review the current evidence supporting the key role of the BGMA in this pathology. Finally, we will discuss the clinical implications of the BGMA in the evaluation and management of psychological and gastrointestinal disorders.

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