Teresa Gervasi* and Giuseppina Mandalari Pages 3274 - 3281 ( 8 )
This review highlights the relationships between gastrointestinal microorganisms and the brain. The gut microbiota communicates with the central nervous system through nervous, endocrine, and immune signalling mechanisms. Our brain can modulate the gut microbiota structure and function through the autonomic nervous system, and possibly through neurotransmitters which directly act on bacterial gene expression. In this context, oxidative stress is one the main factors involved in the dysregulation of the gut-brain axis and consequently in neurodegenerative disorders. Several factors influence the susceptibility to oxidative stress by altering the antioxidant status or free oxygen radical generation. Amongst these, of interest is alcohol, a commonly used substance which can negatively influence the central nervous system and gut microbiota, with a key role in the development of neurodegenerative disorder. The role of “psychobiotics” as a novel contrast strategy for preventing and treating disorders caused due to alcohol use and abuse has been investigated.
Gut microbiota, psychobiotics, brain axis, neurodegenerative disorders, alcohogut microbiota, alcohol.