Can probiotics fend off mood disorders?
A new study by University of Colorado Boulder researchers suggests that one particular beneficial bacteria can have long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects on the brain, making it more resilient to the physical and behavioral effects of stress. Mounting research suggests that stress-induced brain inflammation can boost risk of such disorders, in part by impacting mood-influencing neurotransmitters like norepinephrine or dopamine.
The findings, if replicated in clinical trials could ultimately lead to new probiotic-based immunizations to protect against posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety or new treatments for depression, the authors say.
Research also suggests that trauma, illness or surgery can sensitize certain regions of the brain, setting up a hair-trigger inflammatory response to subsequent stressors which can lead to mood disorders and cognitive decline.