Food and Behaviour Research

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Reframing the Teenage Wasteland: Adolescent Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis.

McVey Neufeld KA, Luczynski P, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. (2016) Can J Psychiatry. 61(4) 214-21. doi: 10.1177/0706743716635536. Epub 2016 Feb 24. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.

Abstract:

Human adolescence is arguably one of the most challenging periods of development. The young adult is exposed to a variety of stressors and environmental stimuli on a backdrop of significant physiological change and development, which is especially apparent in the brain. It is therefore unsurprising that many psychiatric disorders are first observable during this time.

The human intestine is inhabited by trillions of microorganisms, and evidence from both preclinical and clinical research focusing on the established 
microbiota-gut-brain axis suggests that the etiology and pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders may be influenced by intestinal dysbiosis.

Provocatively, many if not all of the challenges faced by the developing 
teen have a documented impact on these intestinal commensal microbiota. In this review, we briefly summarize what is known about the developing adolescent brain and intestinal microbiota, discuss recent research investigating the microbiota-gut-brain axis during puberty, and propose that pre- and probiotics may prove useful in both the prevention and treatment of psychiatric disorders specifically benefitting the young adult.