Research Topic

Gut Microbiota as a Therapeutic Target in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Current status and future directions

About this Research Topic

In recent years, burgeoning preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that gut microbiota play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, neurodegenerative and autism spectrum disorders, etc. The plastic nature of the human microbiome makes it a novel therapeutic target in these neuropsychiatric disorders, and many current psychotropic medications (e.g. antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants) can easily alter the composition and function of the gut microflora to exert their therapeutic/adverse effects. For example, the evidence suggests that antipsychotic-induced gut dysbiosis is linked to impairment in metabolism and cognition, possibly through the following mechanisms: 1) disruption in inflammatory cytokine signaling; 2) changes in certain neurotransmitters; 3) interaction with diet. Meanwhile, the effects of modulating interventions, such as prebiotics, probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, and other new treatment possibilities on these neuropsychiatric disorders have also become an evolving field in neuroscience.

This Research Topic welcomes leading experts in the field to submit their original studies on animal models or human subjects, and review articles that help understand the role of gut microbiota in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, reveal mechanisms underlying the pharmacological interactions between gut microbiota and available intervention strategies or describe new microbiota-oriented treatment possibilities that give further insights in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

The sub-topics include, but are not limited to the following:
• The pathophysiological basis of the relationship between gut microbiota and neuropsychiatric disorder morbidity which reveals new pharmacological targets for treatment, including genetic- or physiology-based studies
• The pathophysiological basis of the relationship between gut microbiota and somatic comorbidities in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as obesity and diabetes, which are specifically associated with the side effects of certain psychotropic medicines
• Interventions to improve psychiatric symptoms, cognitive deficits, and metabolic anomalies by targeting gut microbiota
• Studies reporting the impact of currently available psychotropic medications/other interventions on gut microbiota, with regard to their new mechanisms of action
• New drug development, conceptual frameworks, or novel treatment possibilities that based on gut-microbiota regulation to enhance the treatment approaches in neuropsychiatric disorders.


Keywords: Gut microbiota, Psychotropic Drugs, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Neuropsychiatry Disorder


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In recent years, burgeoning preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that gut microbiota play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, neurodegenerative and autism spectrum disorders, etc. The plastic nature of the human microbiome makes it a novel therapeutic target in these neuropsychiatric disorders, and many current psychotropic medications (e.g. antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants) can easily alter the composition and function of the gut microflora to exert their therapeutic/adverse effects. For example, the evidence suggests that antipsychotic-induced gut dysbiosis is linked to impairment in metabolism and cognition, possibly through the following mechanisms: 1) disruption in inflammatory cytokine signaling; 2) changes in certain neurotransmitters; 3) interaction with diet. Meanwhile, the effects of modulating interventions, such as prebiotics, probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, and other new treatment possibilities on these neuropsychiatric disorders have also become an evolving field in neuroscience.

This Research Topic welcomes leading experts in the field to submit their original studies on animal models or human subjects, and review articles that help understand the role of gut microbiota in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, reveal mechanisms underlying the pharmacological interactions between gut microbiota and available intervention strategies or describe new microbiota-oriented treatment possibilities that give further insights in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

The sub-topics include, but are not limited to the following:
• The pathophysiological basis of the relationship between gut microbiota and neuropsychiatric disorder morbidity which reveals new pharmacological targets for treatment, including genetic- or physiology-based studies
• The pathophysiological basis of the relationship between gut microbiota and somatic comorbidities in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as obesity and diabetes, which are specifically associated with the side effects of certain psychotropic medicines
• Interventions to improve psychiatric symptoms, cognitive deficits, and metabolic anomalies by targeting gut microbiota
• Studies reporting the impact of currently available psychotropic medications/other interventions on gut microbiota, with regard to their new mechanisms of action
• New drug development, conceptual frameworks, or novel treatment possibilities that based on gut-microbiota regulation to enhance the treatment approaches in neuropsychiatric disorders.


Keywords: Gut microbiota, Psychotropic Drugs, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Neuropsychiatry Disorder


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

16 June 2021 Abstract
05 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

16 June 2021 Abstract
05 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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