Friday, March 24, 2017
These papers really stretched my preconceptions regarding what is "neuroscience" research. During my education at NU I have been vocal about a need for research that considers mind and body as a one entity, but to see it in practice is so fascinating. Reber et al's exploration of stress induced changes to gut microbiomes, seratonergic activity and anxiety behaviors is a great stepping stone for understanding the complex relationship between the state of the brain and the state of the body. For cognitive changes due to a stress model to induce changes in the gut is pretty mind blowing and I think can be expanded upon with more research. I also wonder what it would look like to track mouse colons in other stress models and other experiments not specifically considering immunity and colitis effects.
Equally as interesting is the Buffington paper which takes what could be described as a reverse approach, by assessing the effects on the brain that come from manipulation of the gut biome. The strength of the evidence in this paper does a couple things. I find that it further expands and validates the model used by Reber as well as the evidence they gathered. Additionally this paper also raises so many questions for the future of neuroscience. To see the effects of diet on these animals begs the question of how do we proceed from here? I certainly will be checking the methods sections of each paper to understand the diet provided, but I think these experiments really suggest the need for neuroscientists to study and consider the microbiome and the immune system.