Mental health problems = Intestinal imbalance?
Communication between the intestine and the brain takes place via different "channels", such as via intestinal microbes, hormones, messenger substances or sensory neurons. Via the gut-brain axis, the digestive tract not only controls the feeling of hunger and appetite, but also influences mood, emotions, and cognitive processes. Therefore, often when there is a problem in one of the two organs, the other is also severely affected. Although the exact underlying molecular mechanism is still unclear, it has already been shown that gut bacteria control emotional behaviour, cognitive decision-making processes, but also pain perception and stress sensitivity.
Gut bacteria as a therapy for Parkinson's?
Parkinson's is one of the most common neurological diseases, affecting 1 – 3 % of all 60 - 65 year-olds. In addition to slowness of movement, muscle stiffness and tremors are among the main symptoms. Many patients also suffer from digestive disorders, especially constipation, which not only enormously impairs the absorption of the medication but also, and above all, the quality of life of those affected.
News on the Gut-Brain-Axis
Anita Frauwallner interviewed Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Holzer, one of those Austrian scientists who enjoy world fame: He was able to prove that close connections exist between the environment in our belly and the brain. In addition, he showed that the "gut feeling" really exists, namely that the messages emanating from our intestines can actually be proven and have an enormous impact on physical and mental health or even illness.
Leading the way in international microbiome research
The intestine is at the centre of medical and scientific interest - or more precisely, the trillions of bacteria that colonise it. With increasing research into the microbiome, it is becoming clearer and clearer what a central role intestinal bacteria play in our health and in the development - and thus also the treatment - of diseases.