Defining dysbiosis in disorders of movement and motivation

Christopher T. Fields, Timothy R. Sampson, Annadora J. Bruce-Keller, Drew D. Kiraly, Elaine Y. Hsiao, Geert J. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The gut microbiota has emerged as a critical player in shaping and modulating brain function and has been shown to influence numerous behaviors, including anxiety and depression-like behaviors, sociability, and cognition. However, the effects of the gut microbiota on specific disorders associated with thalamo-cortico-basal ganglia circuits, ranging from compulsive behavior and addiction to altered sensation and motor output, are only recently being explored. Wholesale depletion and alteration of gut microbial communities in rodent models of disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, autism, and addiction, robustly affect movement and motivated behavior. A new frontier therefore lies in identifying specific microbial alterations that affect these behaviors and understanding the underlying mechanisms of action. Comparing alterations in gut microbiota across multiple basal-ganglia associated disease states allows for identification of common mechanistic pathways that may interact with distinct environmental and genetic risk factors to produce disease-specific outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9414-9422
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number44
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2018


  • Addiction
  • Basal ganglia
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Gut microbiota
  • Motor function
  • Parkinson’s


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