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The gut-brain axis: Emerging evidence in health and disease

Scientists and clinicians have long been fascinated by the relationship between the brain and the gut, however our understanding of the mechanisms behind this complex and bidirectional interaction is still only basic. This interaction, termed the gut-brain axis (also known as the brain-gut axis), is thought to be involved in many regular functions and systems within the healthy body, in addition to the pathogenesis of many diseases from neurological and degenerative conditions to autoimmune diseases. The gut-brain axis is now being investigated as a potential target for treatment of these diseases. This collection brings together research published in BioMed Central journals into all aspects of the gut-brain axis and its role in health and disease.

This is a retrospective collection, collated from previously published articles from BioMed Central journals.

Collection published: 23 May 2014

  1. Research

    The neurotoxic effects of ampicillin-associated gut bacterial imbalances compared to those of orally administered propionic acid in the etiology of persistent autistic features in rat pups: effects of various dietary regimens

    A healthy gut with normal intestinal microflora is completely disrupted by oral antibiotics. The byproducts of harmful gut bacteria can interfere with brain development and may contribute to autism. Strategies...

    Afaf El-Ansary, Ramesa Shafi Bhat, Sooad Al-Daihan and Abeer M Al Dbass

    Gut Pathogens 2015 7:7

    Published on: 22 March 2015

  2. Research article

    Diet and exercise orthogonally alter the gut microbiome and reveal independent associations with anxiety and cognition

    The ingestion of a high-fat diet (HFD) and the resulting obese state can exert a multitude of stressors on the individual including anxiety and cognitive dysfunction. Though many studies have shown that exerci...

    Silvia S Kang, Patricio R Jeraldo, Aishe Kurti, Margret E Berg Miller, Marc D Cook, Keith Whitlock, Nigel Goldenfeld, Jeffrey A Woods, Bryan A White, Nicholas Chia and John D Fryer

    Molecular Neurodegeneration 2014 9:36

    Published on: 13 September 2014

  3. Review

    The relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and psychiatric disorders: from molecular changes to clinical manifestations

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional syndrome characterized by chronic abdominal pain accompanied by altered bowel habits. Although generally considered a functional disorder, there is now substantia...

    Mihaela Fadgyas-Stanculete, Ana-Maria Buga, Aurel Popa-Wagner and Dan L Dumitrascu

    Journal of Molecular Psychiatry 2014 2:4

    Published on: 27 June 2014

  4. Research

    Gastrointestinal specific anxiety in irritable bowel syndrome: validation of the Japanese version of the visceral sensitivity index for university students

    The visceral sensitivity index (VSI) is a useful self-report measure of the gastrointestinal symptom-specific anxiety (GSA) of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Previous research has shown that wor...

    Tatsuo Saigo, Jun Tayama, Toyohiro Hamaguchi, Naoki Nakaya, Tadaaki Tomiie, Peter J Bernick, Motoyori Kanazawa, Jennifer S Labus, Bruce D Naliboff, Susumu Shirabe and Shin Fukudo

    BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2014 8:10

    Published on: 21 March 2014

  5. Review

    Environmental contamination by canine geohelminths

    Intestinal nematodes affecting dogs, i.e. roundworms, hookworms and whipworms, have a relevant health-risk impact for animals and, for most of them, for human beings. Both dogs and humans are typically infecte...

    Donato Traversa, Antonio Frangipane di Regalbono, Angela Di Cesare, Francesco La Torre, Jason Drake and Mario Pietrobelli

    Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:67

    Published on: 13 February 2014

  6. Research

    Toll-like 4 receptor inhibitor TAK-242 decreases neuroinflammation in rat brain frontal cortex after stress

    The innate immune response is the first line of defence against invading microorganisms and it is also activated in different neurologic/neurodegenerative pathological scenarios. As a result, the family of the...

    Iciar Gárate, Borja García-Bueno, José Luis Muñoz Madrigal, Javier R Caso, Luis Alou, María Luisa Gómez-Lus and Juan Carlos Leza

    Journal of Neuroinflammation 2014 11:8

    Published on: 11 January 2014

  7. Review

    Commensal Clostridia: leading players in the maintenance of gut homeostasis

    The gastrointestinal tract is a complex and dynamic network where an intricate and mutualistic symbiosis modulates the relationship between the host and the microbiota in order to establish and ensure gut home...

    Loris R Lopetuso, Franco Scaldaferri, Valentina Petito and Antonio Gasbarrini

    Gut Pathogens 2013 5:23

    Published on: 13 August 2013

  8. Research article

    Gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)-related symptoms and its association with mood and anxiety disorders and psychological symptomology: a population-based study in women

    Psychopathology seems to play a role in reflux pathogenesis and vice versa, yet few population-based studies have systematically investigated the association between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) an...

    Livia Sanna, Amanda L Stuart, Michael Berk, Julie A Pasco, Paolo Girardi and Lana J Williams

    BMC Psychiatry 2013 13:194

    Published on: 24 July 2013

  9. Review

    Emerging importance of holobionts in evolution and in probiotics

    The existence of microbe free animals or plants in nature is virtually impossible as they and plants have a certain degree of symbiotic association with microbes. This symbiotic association leads to the format...

    Yadvir Singh, Javed Ahmad, Javed Musarrat, Nasreen Z Ehtesham and Seyed E Hasnain

    Gut Pathogens 2013 5:12

    Published on: 22 May 2013

  10. Research

    The neurotoxic effect of clindamycin - induced gut bacterial imbalance and orally administered propionic acid on DNA damage assessed by the comet assay: protective potency of carnosine and carnitine

    Comet assay is a quick method for assessing DNA damage in individual cells. It allows the detection of single and double DNA strand breaks, which represent the direct effect of some damaging agents. This study...

    Afaf El-Ansary, Ghada H Shaker, Amina R El-Gezeery and Laila Al-Ayadhi

    Gut Pathogens 2013 5:9

    Published on: 12 April 2013

  11. Research

    Effects of personality traits on the manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome

    Previous studies have reported that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) show high neuroticism. However, the precise association between the IBS subtypes and the degree of neuroticism in younger popula...

    Jun Tayama, Naoki Nakaya, Toyohiro Hamaguchi, Tadaaki Tomiie, Masae Shinozaki, Tatsuo Saigo, Susumu Shirabe and Shin Fukudo

    BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2012 6:20

    Published on: 30 October 2012