Stools is not a terrific subject of discussion at dinner parties and only slightly less so in medical conferences. However, better understanding of the composition and function of the trillions of bacteria and viruses hosted in the guts of each human (a.k.a. the gut microbiota) and their cross-talk with the host’s body organs may allow figuring out the pathophysiology of diseases of yet unknown ethology.
Evidence is mounting that a specific composition of the gut microbiota (GMB), i.e. one or some bacterial strains, may affect brain function and human behaviour in patients affected by Alzheimer’s disease and autism, among others. The mediators of the gut-brain cross-talk are circulating mediators, either produced by microbes themselves or induced on the immuneinflammatory system, and activated B- and T- cells. The therapeutic perspectives are extremely attractive, given the ease of access of the digestive system and modification of the composition of the gut microbiota. However, challenges are huge due to the complexity of a dynamic eco-system comprising up to 4×1013 microorganisms from 1,000 bacterial strains with 3×108 genes and metabolic functions relatively de-coupled from taxonomy.
In November 2015, the conference was held in Geneva entitled “Gut Feelings & Gut Thoughts” where current knowledge and trends on the effect of gut bacteria on the brain, Alzheimer’s and brain amyloidosis was addressed by a panel of national and international experts.
To update physicians and scientists on the latest discoveries on the role of the GMB in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.
To promote the study of the effect of the human microbiota in brain diseases by Swiss scientists.