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Intestinal Bacteria Can Alter Gut, Brain Functions

Update Date: Mar 02, 2017 08:20 AM EST

The research conducted at the McMaster University sought to identify whether fecal microbiota from human IBS patients who have diarrhea can influence brain and gut functions in mice. The study revealed that the mice who were injected with fecal transplants developed changes in both their behavior and intestinal functions.

The report published in Science Daily reveals that the bacteria located in the gut has a direct effect on the intestinal and behavioral symptoms of patients that are suffering from IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. This new discovery can pioneer a new microbiota-directed for IBS.

The study was published in the Science Translational Medicine and was led by experts from the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster together with researchers from the University of Waterloo.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects that large intestines that can also cause abdominal pains and altered bowel habits such as diarrhea and constipation. The results of the study discovered aspects of the sickness that were impacted by the fecal transplants that affect the gastrointestinal movement, intestinal barrier dysfunction, leads to anxiety-like behavior, and low-grade inflammation.

Furthermore, results of the study can help address possible treatments since currently available medications for IBS have limited efficacy due to the underlying causes of the disease that remains to be unknown, Medical Xpress reports.

The experiment was conducted in laboratory mice and aimed to explore if fecal microbiota from human IBS patients with diarrhea is capable of influencing gut function and brain functions of the mice samples. With these results, basis in developing therapies and medications that aim to target the intestinal microbiota can be further explored. Biomarkers for the diagnosis of IBS can also be explored through the help of this new discovery.

Through the study, it can also be concluded that the microbiota-directed therapies and pre or probiotic treatments may be beneficial in treating not only intestinal problems but as well as the behavioral manifestation of IBS.

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