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Gut–brain axis: Physiology and pathology 

Gut–brain axis: Physiology and pathology
Gut–brain axis: Physiology and pathology

Carla Petrella

, Giuseppe Nisticò

, and Robert Nisticò

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date: 25 October 2020

A large body of research has shown the presence of a complex pathway of communication between gut and brain. It is now recognized that, through this pathway, microbiota can influence intestinal homeostasis and modulate brain plasticity in normal and pathological conditions. This chapter provides an overview of preclinical and clinical evidence supporting the possible mechanisms whereby microbiota can influence gastrointestinal function and stress-related behaviour. Since normalization of gut flora can prevent changes in behaviour, the authors further postulate that the gut–brain axis might represent a possible target for pharmacological and dietary strategies aimed at improving intestinal and mental health.

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