Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis

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Megan Clapp *
Nadia Aurora
Lindsey Herrera
Manisha Bhatia
Emily Wilen
Sarah Wakefield
(*) Corresponding Author:
Megan Clapp |


The bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and gut microbiota, referred to as the gut-brain-axis, has been of significant interest in recent years. Increasing evidence has associated gut microbiota to both gastrointestinal and extragastrointestinal diseases. Dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression, which are prevalent in society today. Probiotics have the ability to restore normal microbial balance, and therefore have a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression. This review aims to discuss the development of the gut microbiota, the linkage of dysbiosis to anxiety and depression, and possible applications of probiotics to reduce symptoms.

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Author Biography

Sarah Wakefield, Department of Psychiatry, Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech University, TX

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry