The brain has long been regarded as the organ controlling and modulating the functions of all other organs through the nervous system. The gastrointestinal system is no exception, although recent data demonstrate the bidirectionality of this communication, thus identifying the gut-brain axis. Of particular interest is the strong relationship between the nature of the microbial community that inhabits the gut and certain central nervous system disorders (such as anxiety or depressive behaviors), as patients on the autism spectrum have been shown to have an unbalanced microbiome. In this presentation, we will talk about the impact of external stimuli (such as diet, lifestyle, antibiotics, hygiene) on gut microorganisms, with a special focus on the interaction between microbiome and brain functions. This new branch of research may eventually yield a new strategy to improve our mental health.
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Department of Psychology