Gut microbiome may alter symptoms of schizophrenia

April 9, 2019 0 By FM

Peng Zheng et al have found that people with schizophrenia have a significant difference in their gut microbiomes compared to people without the disorder which may be linked to the altered neurologic function. The researchers collected stool samples from 53 schizophrenia patients who were taking medication, five samples from schizophrenia patients who were not taking medication and from 69 people who did not have schizophrenia. Gene sequencing of the samples was done to isolate gut microbiome bacteria. They divided the bacteria they found into operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Out of 854 OTUs, they found 56 that appeared only in schizophrenia patients and 64 that appeared only in the control group. They also noted that the gut microbiomes of the schizophrenia patients had overall lower diversity than the control group. The study also reported the presence of a smaller subset of bacteria that were clearly different between schizophrenia patients and those without the disorder. On introducing samples of the subset from the schizophrenia patients into the microbiomes of healthy mice, the mice displayed behaviour changes. The research reveals a plausible link between schizophrenia microbiome which may alter neurochemistry and neurologic function in ways that may be relevant to schizophrenia pathology.

Source: Science Advances 06 Feb 2019: Vol. 5, no. 2, eaau8317 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8317