Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Gut Microbiome Dysregulation Implicated in OCD

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Gut Microbiome Dysregulation Implicated in OCD

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO--Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder have a gut bacterial microbiome marked by diminished species diversity and abundance, compared with that of healthy controls, according to the first study to examine the issue.

Results of this pilot study also suggest that OCD patients with tic disorder have a distincdy different gut microbiome, compared with other OCD patients, Jasmine Turna said at the annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

The impetus for this first-ever study of the gut microbiome in OCD was the mounting evidence that the microbiome may play a broad role in modulating bidirectional communication between the brain and gut. Gut bacteria are known to produce serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters implicated in numerous psychiatric disorders. Moreover, rodent studies suggest that manipulation of the gut microbiome using a probiotic can diminish pathologic anxiety (Behav Pharmacol. 2014 Feb;25[l]:71-9). And anxiety is a predominant symptom in OCD, explained Ms. Turna, a PhD candidate in neuroscience at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

She reported on 11 OCD patients and 12 healthy controls who underwent gut microbiome analysis using DNA extracted from their morning stool samples. Results from another 9 OCD patients and 10 controls remained pending at the time of the conference but will be completed shortly

In addition to the decreased abundance and diversity of bacteria present in the microbiomes of the OCD patients, compared with controls, another key finding was that the OCD patients had increased levels of systemic inflammation. …

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