The gut microbiome exerts a considerable influence on human neurophysiology and mental health. Interactions between intestinal microbiology and host regulatory systems have now been implicated both in the development of psychiatric conditions and in the efficacy of many common therapies. With the growing acceptance of the role played by the gut microbiome in mental health outcomes, the focus of research is now beginning to shift from identifying relationships between intestinal microbiology and pathophysiology, and towards using this newfound insight to improve clinical outcomes. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of gut microbiome–brain interactions, the mechanistic underpinnings of these relationships, and the ongoing challenge of distinguishing association and causation. We set out an overarching model of the evolution of microbiome–CNS interaction and examine how a growing knowledge of these complex systems can be used to determine disease susceptibility and reduce risk in a targeted manner.
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© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
- mental health
- intestinal microbiology
- psychiatric conditions