A new study has found that a fecal bacterium in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) impacts their intestinal and behavioural symptoms.
IBS is an intestinal disorder that causes stomach pain and altered bowel habits like diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms are often accompanied with chronic anxiety or depression. It affects more than 10 million people in India every year.
The study helped in understanding the underlying causes for these symptoms and thus, developing a better treatment.
The researchers conducted a fecal transplant to transfer microbiota from IBS patients with diarrhea, who suffered or did not suffer anxiety, into germ-free mice. Changes in the intestinal function and behaviour of the mice showed similarity with the symptoms of donor IBS patients. The fecal transplant impacted gastrointestinal transit (the time food takes to leave the stomach and travel through the intestine), and caused intestinal barrier dysfunction, low grade inflammation and anxiety-like behaviour.
This milestone study would help in developing new microbiota-directed therapies and diagnosing IBS. Because the study also showed that microbiota in the gut can influence the brain, further researches plan to understand the kind of brain disorders that it can affect.