Friday, October 16, 2015

The tantalizing links between gut microbes and the brain : Nature News & Comment

In humans, the data are more limited. Researchers have drawn links between gastrointestinal pathology and psychiatric neurological conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disorders — but they are just links.

“In general, the problem of causality in microbiome studies is substantial,” says Rob Knight, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Diego. “It's very difficult to tell if microbial differences you see associated with diseases are causes or consequences.” There are many outstanding questions. Clues about the mechanisms by which gut bacteria might interact with the brain are starting to emerge, but no one knows how important these processes are in human development and health.

I would tend to think that the links would almost HAVE to be causal because the gut microbiome develops independently of us. Our genetic makeup has nothing to do with those organisms as far as I understand it. Wouldn't that imply that it is the microbiome influencing the body/brain?

No comments: