Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The importance of gut health for the mind





The gut transports and digests ingested material to supply nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes to the body. The gut might be an even more complex organ than previously thought. A double fold of peritoneum (called the mesentery) - the lining of the abdominal cavity - holds our intestine to the wall of our abdomen. It holds all internal other organs in place and it keeps the gastrointestinal tract and other organs from twisting up around. 

The gut is seeded with microbiotas right after birth. Although the composition is influenced by both host genetics and environmental factors, the gut microbiome can be remodeled throughout life. The composition of the microbial community depends on environmental factors such as dietary nutrients, fiber, use of antibiotics, gastrointestinal disease and the genetic background of the host. Fecal transplants from obese to lean mice have also triggered well recognizable neurologic complications of obesity in the receiver animals. there are indications that this causal relationship is true in humans as well. The composition of the microbiota has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. In addition, obese subjects often show deficits in memory, learning and executive functions compared to normal weight subjects. Epidemiological studies also indicate that obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety, and vice versa. Obesity-associated microbiota may contribute to the endocrine, neurochemical and inflammatory alterations. Alterations in the intestinal microbiota can also lead to metabolic diseases [type-2 diabetes], autoimmune arthritis, and psychiatric disorders. 


Gut microbes play a role in human physiology through several mechanisms, such as synthesis of vitamins, digestion of complex compounds, like polysaccharides, drugs, and others. In the past years over 800 different peptides have been identified that affect brain function and your psychology in a variety of ways. Gut microbiota is a mediating factor between environmental pressures (e.g., diet, lifestyle) and human physiology. The gut microbiome modulates brain function, including behaviors relevant to anxiety and depression. These findings indicate an existing cross-link between energy metabolism, mood and cognitive function. Gut microbes also play a role in immune cell development and protect from colonization by pathogenic bacteria.

Gut microbiota has dramatic effects on the nature and quantity of many metabolites in multiple chemical classes in the gut and these changes are reflected in metabolites plasma levels. The changes at the level of the gut and blood are dramatically influenced by diet, exposure to antibiotics, genetic background, and others. Understanding the full set of metabolites will open new insights into how changes in the gut microbiome affect systemic metabolism and its alterations in diabetes and obesity.

Picture credit: Tvanbr


The Science of Consciousness is available on Amazon.


The Science of Consciousness Post, your news about the mind
The Science of Consciousness, please join the discussion
Website: The Science of Consciousness


Copyright © 2017 by Eva Deli

Friday, June 8, 2018

Working memory is based on the brain's energy cycle







Although the brain can store a whole lifetime of knowledge in its trillions of connections, the number of items that humans can actively hold in their conscious awareness at once is limited, on average, to four or five things. After active attention ceases, they’re stored elsewhere or forgotten. Working memory is the part of short-term memory that is concerned with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing. Retention in working memory is short-lived and bounded. However, the reason for the seemingly low threshold of working memory has been elusive. 

Sensory information transforms into the language of oscillations in the limbic brain and flows toward the sensory cortex. The activation extinguishes the energy of the stimulus. However, in cases of great information value, such as novel stimulus or short-term memory, the energy of the stimulus flows toward the associative areas, which triggers conscious decision making. 

However, at a certain limit, short-term memory overburdens the frontal cortex and breaks down timely processing. Excessive information load changes the normal rhythm of oscillations, which lead to short-term memory degradation. In patients who have been diagnosed with neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia, even a smaller number of items disturbs memory.


Read the source article:

Sign up to receive notification about the publication of my Upcoming book on emotion regulation




The Science of Consciousness Post, your news about the mind
The Science of Consciousness, please join the discussion
Website: The Science of Consciousness


Copyright © 2017 by Eva Deli


Antibiotic treatment can make virus infection more dangerous




Antibiotics are drugs used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses such as the common cold or influenza. Special antiviral drugs or antivirals can be used to treat or inhibit virus infections.
Recent work has shown that antibiotics can impair the development of antiviral T cell responses, which occurs as soon as 3 days after taking the drug in an oral form.


Although the outcome of flavivirus infection can vary from asymptomatic to lethal, environmental factors can greatly modulate the severity of the disease. Treatment with oral antibiotics can greatly deplete the gut microbiota and impair the development of optimal T cell responses. This leads to increased infection and immunopathology. The changes in the overall structure of the gut bacterial community can occur after only three days of treatment. This indicates that damages to the gut microbiota may increase susceptibility to virus infections. Combined antibiotic treatment dramatically reduced virus infection survival rate in mice.

Read the whole article 
Oral Antibiotic Treatment of Mice Exacerbates the Disease Severity of Multiple Flavivirus Infections




The Science of Consciousness is available on Amazon.

The Science of Consciousness Post, your news about the mind
The Science of Consciousness, please join the discussion
Website: The Science of Consciousness


Copyright © 2017 by Eva Deli