Oh my god! Could it be that simple? Fix the microbiomes of patients and they’ll be cured of schizophrenia? No, I doubt it, but still this is a phenomenal discovery! That the throat microbiomes of schizophrenia patients and people who don’t have schizophrenia (controls) are significantly different. The microbiome is the collection of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in our bodies with us. Once again this brings the immune system into the picture, and as I posted in my very last post, it also brings the gut nervous system (aka gut brain) and gut immune system into play. Why are different bacteria, fungi, viruses growing in the throats of people who have schizophrenia? Is their immune system different? If so, why is their immune system different? How is it different? Are the bacteria in the gut also different since the throat all the way to the anus is about 9 feet of the alimentary canal. If the microbiome is different, what affect is it having on the gut nervous system and also ultimately on the brain, also known as the central nervous system? Phenomenal discovery! Also shows how interconnected everything is! Studying the brain or the gut or the immune system in isolation is all well and good, but we have to study relationships within these systems and how they affect one another and us. Also a very important question for me: Is this also the case for people who have bipolar d/o? Do we also have microbiomes that are different from control individuals? And again, all the questions I asked above apply in this case too.
“Recent studies have shown that microbiomes—the communities of microbes living within our bodies—can affect the immune system and may be connected to mental health.
Research linking immune disorders and schizophrenia has also been published, and this study furthers the possibility that shifts in oral communities are associated with schizophrenia.
Mr. Castro-Nallar’s research sought to identify microbes associated with schizophrenia, as well as components that may be associated with or contribute to changes in the immune state of the person. In this study, the group found a significant difference in the microbiomes of healthy and schizophrenic patients.
“Our results suggesting a link between microbiome diversity and schizophrenia require replication and expansion to a broader number of individuals for further validation,” said Keith Crandall, director of the CBI and contributing author of the study. “But the results are quite intriguing and suggest potential applications of biomarkers for diagnosis of schizophrenia and important metabolic pathways associated with the disease.”
The study helps to identify possible contributing factors to schizophrenia. With additional studies, researchers may be able to determine if microbiome changes are a contributing factor to schizophrenia, are a result of schizophrenia or do not have a connection to the disorder.