172016May

Likely Connection Between Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and the Gut Microbiome

A rapidly emerging field of research indicates that approximately 100 trillion microbes and more than 3 million microbial genes in the human gut may play a significant role in human health and disease.1,2 It is also becoming evident that the intestinal microflora regulates brain function and behavior, and may thus influence the pathophysiology of various neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, and autism.

Now, preliminary findings of research presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Atlanta, Georgia, indicate a likely connection between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a disrupted gut microbial milieu.5

This chronic, relatively common, and frequently debilitating psychiatric syndrome is characterized by recurrent intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that trigger anxiety and prompt repetitive mental or behavioral acts (compulsions) performed by the affected individual to control or diminish that anxiety. Despite intense research efforts and recent advances in understanding the condition, the exact etiology of OCD remains largely undefined, therapeutic agents are only modestly beneficial, and the clinical need is significant.

Read the full article at: http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/apa-2016-coverage/ocd-and-the-gut-is-there-a-connection/article/496849/