Microbial Therapeutics in Neurocognitive and Psychiatric Disorders

Kannayiram Alagiakrishnan, Tyler Halverson

Abstract


Microbial therapeutics, which include gut biotics and fecal transplantation, are interventions designed to improve the gut microbiome. Gut biotics can be considered as the administration of direct microbial populations. The delivery of this can be done through live microbial flora, certain food like fiber, microbial products (metabolites and elements) obtained through the fermentation of food products, or as genetically engineered substances, that may have therapeutic benefit on different health disorders. Dietary intervention and pharmacological supplements with gut biotics aim at correcting disruption of the gut microbiota by repopulating with beneficial microorganism leading to decrease in gut permeability, inflammation, and alteration in metabolic activities, through a variety of mechanisms of action. Our understanding of the pharmacokinetics of microbial therapeutics has improved with in vitro models, sampling techniques in the gut, and tools for the reliable identification of gut biotics. Evidence from human studies points out that prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics have the potential for treating and preventing mental health disorders, whereas with paraprobiotics, proteobiotics and postbiotics, the research is limited at this point. Some animal studies point out that gut biotics can be used with conventional treatments for a synergistic effect on mental health disorders. If future research shows that there is a possibility of synergistic effect of psychotropic medications with gut biotics, then a gut biotic or nutritional prescription can be given along with psychotropics. Even though the overall safety of gut biotics seems to be good, caution is needed to watch for any known and unknown side effects as well as the need for risk benefit analysis with certain vulnerable populations. Future research is needed before wide spread use of natural and genetically engineered gut biotics. Regulatory framework for gut biotics needs to be optimized. Holistic understanding of gut dysbiosis, along with life style factors, by health care providers is necessary for the better management of these conditions. In conclusion, microbial therapeutics are a new psychotherapeutic approach which offer some hope in certain conditions like dementia and depression. Future of microbial therapeutics will be driven by well-done randomized controlled trials and longitudinal research, as well as by replication studies in human subjects.




J Clin Med Res. 2021;13(9):439-459
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4575

Keywords


Gut biotics; Probiotics; Prebiotics; Synbiotics; Paraprobiotics proteobiotics; Postbiotics; Life style factors; Psychiatric diseases; Neurocognitive disorders

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