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Episode: 11 | The Human Microbiome and Mental Illness: The Gut-Brain Axis - With Dr. Tanya Nguyen

Episode Description: In our bodies, microbial genes outnumber human genes by about 100 to 1. The human microbiome (the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in us) has been linked to gastrointestinal diseases, immune functioning, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and more recently cognitive and psychiatric functioning. Today we speak with Tanya Nguyen, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist whose research is helping to clarify this link.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  Describe the human microbiome and why it is important to neuropsychologists.
  2. List what constitutes a healthy versus an unhealthy gut microbiome.
  3. Discuss the mechanisms through which the gut microbiome may impact cognitive and emotional functioning.
  4. Explain the role of the gut microbiome in different clinical populations such as depression, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and serious mental illness.