The central nervous system (CNS) and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract develop in parallel and communicate with each other throughout life using neural, endocrine, and immune pathways, giving rise to the concept of a ‘gut-brain axis’ in which both organ systems intimately interact. Fundamental to the axis is the GI microbiome, which is the collective genomic aggregate of bacteria and other microorganisms that dwell within the lumen of the GI tract. Increasing evidence gathered from animal models and human studies demonstrates that perturbation of the microbiome, otherwise known as dysbiosis, can lead to specific neurological and psychiatric disorders. This chapter will provide a brief review of the literature that reveals the influence of the microbiome in CNS disease and provide perspectives in treatment through modification of the microbiome.
Part of the book: The Gut Microbiome