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Mouse study on anxiety disorder

Mouse study and gut influence on anxiety disorder

Researchers in Ireland and Germany have discovered that certain gut microbes influence social anxiety disorder (SAD).

SAD is marked by intense fear in social situations and while its biological basis is unclear, recent studies suggest that gut microbiota has a significant role in regulating brain behaviour and social function. 

University of College Cork (UCC) and the University of Frankfurt, an EARA member, conducted a study focused on the impact of the gut microbiome on SAD.

Using faecal transplants from humans, SAD patients and non-patients, they showed that mice which received transplants from SAD patients showed heightened sensitivity to social fear without affecting other behaviours.

John Cryan, a co-author of the research at UCC, told the Irish Examiner: “The main point is we need to look after our microbes, especially throughout development and even in adulthood, to keep the social brain working appropriately.”


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