The role of the gut microbiota in schizophrenia: Current and future perspectives

Daniela Rodrigues-Amorim, Tania Rivera-Baltanás, Benito Regueiro, Carlos Spuch, María Elena de Las Heras, Raul Vázquez-Noguerol Méndez, Maria Nieto-Araujo, Carolina Barreiro-Villar, Jose Manuel Olivares, Roberto Carlos Agís-Balboa
World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 2018, 19 (8): 571-585

OBJECTIVES: Schizophrenia is a poorly understood chronic disease. Its pathophysiology is complex, dynamic, and linked to epigenetic mechanisms and microbiota involvement. Nowadays, correlating schizophrenia with the environment makes sense owing to its multidimensional implications: temporal and spatial variability. Microbiota involvement and epigenetic mechanisms are factors that are currently being considered to better understand another dimension of schizophrenia.

METHODS: This review summarises and discusses currently available information, focussing on the microbiota, epigenetic mechanisms, technological approaches aimed at performing exhaustive analyses of the microbiota, and psychotherapies, to establish future perspectives.

RESULTS: The connection between the microbiota, epigenetic mechanisms and technological developments allows for formulating new approaches objectively oriented towards the development of alternative psychotherapies that may help treat schizophrenia.

CONCLUSIONS: In this review, the gut microbiota and epigenetic mechanisms were considered as key regulators, revealing a potential new aetiology of schizophrenia. Likewise, continuous technological advances (e.g. culturomics), aimed at the microbiota-gut-brain axis generate new evidence on this concept.


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