Microbiota-Brain-Gut Axis and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

494 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purposes of this review were as follows: first, to provide an overview of the gut microbiota and its interactions with the gut and the central nervous system (the microbiota-gut-brain axis) in health, second, to review the relevance of this axis to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and, finally, to assess the potential for microbiota-targeted therapies. Recent Findings: Work on animal models has established the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a real phenomenon; to date, the evidence for its operation in man has been limited and has been confronted by considerable logistical challenges. Animal and translational models have incriminated a disturbed gut microbiota in a number of CNS disorders, including Parkinson’s disease; data from human studies is scanty. While a theoretical basis can be developed for the use of microbiota-directed therapies in neurodegenerative disorders, support is yet to come from high-quality clinical trials. Summary: In theory, a role for the microbiota-gut-brain axis is highly plausible; clinical confirmation is awaited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Antibiotics
  • Fecal microbiota transplantation
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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