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Guardians of Rest? Investigating the gut microbiota in central hypersomnolence disorders.

Sleep Medicine 2023 November 20
In recent years, there has been an increased interest in elucidating the influence of the gut microbiota on sleep physiology. The gut microbiota affects the central nervous system by modulating neuronal pathways through the neuroendocrine and immune system, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, and various metabolic pathways. The gut microbiota can also influence circadian rhythms. In this study, we observed the gut microbiota composition of patients suffering from narcolepsy type 1, narcolepsy type 2, and idiopathic hypersomnia. We did not observe any changes in the alpha diversity of the gut microbiota among patient groups and healthy controls. We observed changes in beta diversity in accordance with Jaccard dissimilarities between the control group and groups of patients suffering from narcolepsy type 1 and idiopathic hypersomnia. Our results indicate that both these patient groups differ from controls relative to the presence of rare bacterial taxa. However, after adjustment for various confounding factors such as BMI, age, and gender, there were no statistical differences among the groups. This indicates that the divergence in beta diversity in the narcolepsy type 1 and idiopathic hypersomnia groups did not arise due to sleep disturbances. This study implies that using metabolomics and proteomics approaches to study the role of microbiota in sleep disorders might prove beneficial.

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