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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Mar 2023 - 31 Mar 2023


Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

2023 Mar 01





The Association between Dysbiosis and Neurological Conditions Often Manifesting with Chronic Pain.


Garvey M


The prevalence of neurological conditions which manifest with chronic pain is increasing globally, where the World Health Organisation has now classified chronic pain as a risk factor for death by suicide. While many chronic pain conditions have a definitive underlying aetiology, non-somatic conditions represent difficult-to-diagnose and difficult-to-treat public health issues. The interaction of the immune system and nervous system has become an important area in understanding the occurrence of neuroinflammation, nociception, peripheral and central sensitisation seen in chronic pain. More recently, however, the role of the resident microbial species in the human gastrointestinal tract has become evident. Dysbiosis, an alteration in the microbial species present in favour of non-beneficial and pathogenic species has emerged as important in many chronic pain conditions, including functional somatic syndromes, autoimmune disease and neurological diseases. In particular, a decreased abundance of small chain fatty acid, e.g., butyrate-producing bacteria, including , and some spp., is frequently evident in morbidities associated with long-term pain. Microbes involved in the production of neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA, glutamate and dopamine, which mediate the gut-brain, axis are also important. This review outlines the dysbiosis present in many disease states manifesting with chronic pain, where an overlap in morbidities is also frequently present in patients.