Neurology Central

Can gut bacteria improve mental health after spinal cord injury?

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Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have discovered a link between gut bacteria composition and anxious behavior in rats following spinal cord injury. If translated to humans, the results of the study could have implications for those experiencing mental health problems after spinal cord injury.

A deterioration of mental health has been widely observed in individuals who have had spinal cord injuries. Those who experience paralysis are at an increased risk of suicide, and a loss of interest in rehab due to the onset of depression often leads to a worse quality of life.

An association between a decline in gut health and mental state has previously been observed in other areas of research. Karim Fouad from the University of Alberta decided to test for similar associations in spinal cord injuries.

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