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The gut microbiome and neuropsychiatric disorders: implications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages

This article demonstrates that all evidence points to the importance of and dire need for a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the role of the gut microbiome in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), so as to better understand a condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. 


Neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) - such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - all relate to behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disturbances that are ultimately rooted in disordered brain function. More specifically, these disorders are linked to various neuromodulators (i.e. serotonin and dopamine), as well as dysfunction in both cognitive and socio-affective brain networks. Increasing evidence suggests that the gut environment, and particularly the microbiome, plays a significant role in individual mental health. Although the presence of a gut-brain communication axis has long been established, recent studies argue that the development and regulation of this axis is dictated by the gut microbiome. Many studies involving both animals and humans have connected the gut microbiome with depression, anxiety, and ASD. Microbiome-centered treatments for individuals with these same NPDs have yielded promising results. Despite its recent rise and underlying similarities to other NPDs, both biochemically and symptomatically, connections between the gut microbiome and ADHD currently lag behind those for other NPDs. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020