Probiotics: A Role in Epilepsy?
Source: International Probiotics Association
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases worldwide, affecting about 50 million people. Most live in low to middle-income countries where prevention and treatment can be lacking.
Head injury, stroke, infections, and congenital abnormalities can all lead to epilepsy. The disease can diminish quality of life and cause premature death.
Now, how is epilepsy related to probiotics?
Three recent studies in humans report alterations in the fecal microbiota of individuals with refractory epilepsy relative to varied non-epileptic controls. Each observed increased Firmicutes relative to Bacteroides in individuals with refractory epilepsy. But the results were conflicting with regard to whether α-diversity is altered.
In addition to this correlation, dysbiosis is seen to be involved in the pathogenesis of and susceptibility to epilepsy. The gut microbiota communicates with the brain by a complex bidirectional connection known as the “microbiota-gut-brain axis”, via neuroendocrine, immunological, and direct neural mechanisms.
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