About brain health



Addresses the microbiome’s multiple interactions with the central nervous system (CNS) and the blood-brain barrier—and the related effects on brain function.

Logsdon AF, Erickson MA, Rhea EM et al. Gut reactions: how the blood-brain barrier connects the microbiome and the brain. Experimental Biology and Medicine (Maywood, N.J.) 2018;243(2): 159-165.


Suggests that low-grade gut inflammation may be the trigger responsible for over-activating parts of the brain in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and may provide clues to biomarkers that can identify early PD.

Nair AT, Ramachandran V, Joghee NM et al. Gut microbiota dysfunction as reliable non-invasive early diagnostic biomarkers in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease: a critical review. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2018;24(1): 30-42.




Discusses the gut microbiome’s influence on formation of the brain’s serotonergic system—the neurotransmitter system that, when disturbed, plays a key role in the development of neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Malinova TS, Dijkstra CD, de Vries HE. Serotonin: a mediator of the gut-brain axis in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis 2017 Nov 1: 1352458517739975.


Explores the gut microbiota’s involvement in diverse neural functions, including myelination, microglial function, neuronal morphology, and blood-brain barrier integrity.

Wiley NC, Dinan TG, Ross RP et al. The microbiota-gut-brain axis as a key regulator of neural function and the stress response: implications for human and animal health. Journal of Animal Science 2017;95(7): 3225-3246.




Argues that the therapeutic potential of the microbiota-gut-brain axis requires more “robust” and “reproducible” research to address knowledge gaps about functions and interactions between the gut microbiome; the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems; and the brain.

Forsythe P, Kunze W, Bienenstock J. Moody microbes or fecal phrenology: what do we know about the microbiota-gut-brain axis? BMC Medicine 2016;14: 58.


Explores mounting evidence that the gut microbiome plays an important role in directing and facilitating developmental processes in the brain.

Sharon G, Sampson TR, Geschwind DH et al. The central nervous system and the gut microbiome. Cell 2016;167(4): 915-932.




Describes how disruptions in the health of the gut microbiome contribute to numerous disease processes, as illustrated by the relationship between gut health and brain and behavioral function in autism spectrum disorder.

Frye RE, Slattery J, MacFabe DF et al. Approaches to studying and manipulating the enteric microbiome to improve autism symptoms. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 2015; 26(1): Article 26878.


Discusses a healthy blood-brain barrier’s reliance on constant communication with the gut microbiota, which regulates blood-brain barrier integrity.

Keaney J, Campbell M. The dynamic blood-brain barrier. The FEBS Journal 2015;282(21): 4067-4079.


David Perlmutter describes the intricate relationship between the gut microbiome and the brain in his New York Times bestseller, Brain Maker; in this article, Perlmutter and others talk about the “medical revolution” under way in the treatment of brain-related disorders.

Why the digestive system and its bacteria are a ‘second brain,’” RN, Aug. 20, 2015.


Reports Danish research on gut health and Parkinson’s disease focusing on the role of the vagus nerve as the pathway to the brain.

Svensson E, Horváth-Puhó E, Thomsen RW et al. Vagotomy and subsequent risk of Parkinson’s disease. Annals of Neurology 2015;78(4): 522-529.

See also, “Parkinson’s may begin in gut and spread to the brain via the vagus nerve,” Neuroscience News, June 23, 2015.