Role of microbes in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders

Front Neuroendocrinol. 2021 Jul:62:100917. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2021.100917. Epub 2021 May 4.


Microbes inhabit different anatomical sites of the human body including oral cavity, gut, and skin. A growing literature highlights how microbiome variation is associated with human health and disease. There is strong evidence of bidirectional communication between gut and brain mediated by neurotransmitters and microbial metabolites. Here, we review the potential involvement of microbes residing in the gut and in other body sites in the pathogenesis of eight neuropsychiatric disorders, discussing findings from animal and human studies. The data reported provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the microbiome research in neuropsychiatry, including hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying the associations reported and the translational potential of probiotics and prebiotics.

Keywords: Dysbiosis; Gut-brain- axis; Inflammation; Microbiome; Neuropsychiatric disorders; Probiotics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics*


  • Prebiotics