Title: 'The Microbiome and Stress' – Related Psychiatric Disorders - A prescription for therapeutic  targeting of the gut/brain axis

Overview of Webinar

The gut microbiome can signal along the gut-brain axis to influence many fundamental aspects of brain function and behaviour of relevance to Psychiatry. This includes depression, anxiety and pain as well as host stress physiology. Many of the behaviours influenced by the gut microbiota rely on intact serotonergic neurotransmission and serotonin is a key neurotransmitter at both terminals of this bidirectional communication network. Moreover, many commonly used drugs in Psychiatry may exert effects on the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. Research efforts continue to identify the precise mechanisms underpinning these effects and possible routes of communication include the vagus nerve, the neuroendocrine system and immune factors. There is now an increasing focus on microbial regulation of tryptophan metabolism and the serotonergic system arising from a number of key observations taken from a variety of strategies used to parse the role of microbiota in brain function. Psychiatric disorders, including depression, are also now linked to compositional alterations in the gut microbiome associated with prominent symptomatic features. These translational insights will be critical as we move promising preclinical research towards mechanisms and clinical interventions such as psychobiotics to confer mental health benefits.

About the Speaker

Dr Gerard Clarke is a lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science and a faculty investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. Gerard graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from NUI, Galway followed by a M.Sc in Neuropharmacology from the same institution. He subsequently received a Ph.D (Department of Psychiatry) from University College Cork (UCC). Gerard was a visiting scientist in the University of Mississippi Medical Centre in Jackson prior to working for a number of pharmaceutical companies in both Ireland and Australia, including Wyeth, Pfizer and 3M. His research interests include translational biomarkers of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders, the impact of the gut microbiome on brain and behaviour across the life span and microbial regulation of tryptophan metabolism. His research has been recognised internationally by travel awards from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) as well as a prestigious career development award from the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) and a NARSAD award from the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation. He is a co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed papers (h-index = 49), 5 book chapters and has recently edited a book titled ‘The Gut Microbiome and Behaviour’

 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this presentation, you will be able to:

  1. Define the impact of the gut microbiome on brain function and behaviour;
  2. Understand the possible routes of communication between the gut and the brain;
  3. Identify the options for therapeutic targeting of the gut microbiome.

To Join the Webinar

Please register for the event by filling out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfvBx8pq07TaXAMH0d9QYrrAXX-_R1ANqbT5h5zxqSnYysXOQ/viewform. Further instructions will then be sent by e-mail.

See flyer for the event EIPG PIER Microbiome & Stress webinar_17th June 2019

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