Presenter Information

MacGregor Thomas

Description

In recent years, researchers have pushed the boundaries of understanding of the human microbiome. Studies have pointed towards the involvement of gut bacteria in human health for decades, but now scientists have begun to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the symbiotic relationship that bacteria have with their hosts. Research shows that gut bacteria can influence an organism's neural and immune system development, behavior, mood, and even neurotransmitter concentrations. Like other systems in the human body, a delicate balance of homeostasis, acting through bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and the gut, keeps this system in check. Studies show that gut bacterial dysbiosis is directly correlated to changes in an organism's overall health, with deficits in or overrepresentation of certain flora even implicated in the development of neurological disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Interestingly, research points towards the metabolite byproducts of these microorganisms influencing the severity of ASD, as well as gastrointestinal inflammation and alterations in the serotonergic system. While the cause of autism is multifaceted and is still an active area of study, the evidence that this paper examines puts forth a review on the gut-brain axis and how deficiencies in this crucial system influence the course of autism. *** Winner of the Dennis Boe Award 2021, Great Plains Honors Council, Texas

Keywords:

Autism, Gut-Brain Axis, Microbiome, Gut Bacteria

Department

Biology

College

School of Science and Engineering

Included in

Biology Commons

Share

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 12:00 AM

The Gut-Brain Axis and the Apparent Links to Autism Spectrum Disorders

In recent years, researchers have pushed the boundaries of understanding of the human microbiome. Studies have pointed towards the involvement of gut bacteria in human health for decades, but now scientists have begun to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the symbiotic relationship that bacteria have with their hosts. Research shows that gut bacteria can influence an organism's neural and immune system development, behavior, mood, and even neurotransmitter concentrations. Like other systems in the human body, a delicate balance of homeostasis, acting through bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and the gut, keeps this system in check. Studies show that gut bacterial dysbiosis is directly correlated to changes in an organism's overall health, with deficits in or overrepresentation of certain flora even implicated in the development of neurological disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Interestingly, research points towards the metabolite byproducts of these microorganisms influencing the severity of ASD, as well as gastrointestinal inflammation and alterations in the serotonergic system. While the cause of autism is multifaceted and is still an active area of study, the evidence that this paper examines puts forth a review on the gut-brain axis and how deficiencies in this crucial system influence the course of autism. *** Winner of the Dennis Boe Award 2021, Great Plains Honors Council, Texas