Gut-Brain Connection Research Gets Boost of $8.9 Million

Johns Hopkins Medicine is one of three research institutions with scientists awarded $8.9 million to study the growing body of evidence that Parkinson’s disease originates among cells in the gut and travels up the body’s neurons to the brain. The research aims to develop treatments to prevent or halt progression of the disease.

Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery

Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.

Webinar Series on the Gut-Brain Axis and the Microbiome

There is currently much interest in the gastrointestinal microbiota and its modulation as it relates to implications for host health. A notable aspect is the bidirectional communication between the gut microbiota and brain, referred to as the gut-brain-axis. Nutritional interventions have powerful effects on the gut microbiota but another significant and often overlooked factor is the influence of physical activity.

MORE THAN A WATCHDOG

Study in mice shows the nervous system not only detects the presence of Salmonella in the gut but actively stops the organism from infecting the body
Nerves in the gut prevent Salmonella infection by shutting the cellular gates that allow bacteria to invade the intestine and spread beyond it
As a second line of defense, gut neurons help avert Salmonella invasion by maintaining the levels of key protective microbes in the gut
Findings reveal prominent role for nervous system in infection protection and regulation of immunity