Colloquium du DEC

The emerging science of brain gut microbiome communication

Emeran Mayer (UCLA)
Informations pratiques
21 février 2017

Preclinical studies published during the past decade have clearly established an important role of the gut microbiota in behavior and in the modulation of key components of the gut brain axis, including brain structure and function. However, there is limited evidence from studies in human subjects to demonstrate a causative role of gut microbiota brain interactions in health and disease. Our group has published the first evidence that perturbation of the gut microbiome in healthy individuals can lead to altered brain responses to emotional stimuli. This effect was likely mediated by alterations in gut microbial metabolites, as no effect of the probiotic intervention on gut microbial composition was observed. A number of clinical studies have identified associations of altered gut microbial composition with clinical symptoms of patients with major depressive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, hepatic encephalopathy, and autism spectrum disorders. Fecal microbial transfer from some of these patients alters emotional behavior in rodents. Associations of gut microbial composition and metabolites with brain parameters have also been shown in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and in healthy subjects. We have been using multimodal brain imaging of healthy human subjects and disease populations (irritable bowel syndrome, obesity) to identify correlations between a multitude of structural and functional brain parameters with gut microbial composition and microbial metabolites. Early results demonstrate cross sectional correlations between gut microbial composition and grey and white matter changes primarily within sensory processing regions of the brain. In ongoing studies, we are looking at the involvement of gut microbiota and their metabolites in brain changes in mediating the therapeutic effects of bariatric surgery in obesity, and of mind based therapies (cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness based stress reduction) in chronic visceral pain

A propos d'Emeran Mayer :
Emeran A Mayer is a Gastroenterologist, Neuroscientist and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is the Executive Director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA, and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center. As one of the pioneers and leading researchers in the role of mind-brain-body interactions in health and chronic disease, his scientific contributions to U.S. national and international communities in the broad area of basic and translational enteric neurobiology with wide-ranging applications in clinical GI diseases and disorders is unparalleled. He has published more than 300 scientific papers, and co edited 3 books. He is the recipient of the 2016 David McLean award from the American Psychosomatic Society. His most recent work has focused on the dialogue between the gut microbiota and the brain, the role of food addiction in obesity, and the role of the brain in chronic inflammatory diseases of the gut. 

Mayer has a longstanding interest in ancient healing traditions and affords them a level of respect rarely found in Western Medicine. He has been involved in documentary film productions about the Yanomami people in the Orinoco region of Venezuela, and the Asmat people in Irian Jaya, and has recently co produced the award winning documentary “In Search of Balance”. 

Dr. Mayer has been interviewed on National Public Radio, PBS and by many national and international media outlets including the Los AngelesTimes, Atlantic magazine and Stern and Spiegel Online. He has spoken at UCLA TEDx on the Mysterious Origins of Gut Feelings in 2015, and his book The Mind Gut Connection was published by Harper&Collins in July of 2016 and has been translated into 10 languages.