Microbiome modifications in depression
Alterations in the composition of the gut microbiota influence brain function and behavior via the brain-gut axis. Elucidating the pathways linking gut-microbiota and the brain may allow detecting potential biomarkers that could be used in psychiatry. There is a particular need in major depressive disorder (MDD) to identify biomarkers that can stratify patients into more homogeneous groups to achieve better treatment outcomes since up to 40% do not respond to current treatment approaches. In the brain-gut project, we are also investigating the effects of two microbiota-directed interventions, namely probiotic augmentation and intestinal microbiota transplantation on immunological, inflammatory, microbial, genetic and neural markers along the brain-gut axis in patients with MDD. The findings reached may serve as basis for further developments of novel microbial interventions for these patients.