The gut microbiome and neuropsychiatric disorders: implications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) all relate to behavioural, cognitive and emotional disturbances that are ultimately rooted in disordered brain function. More specifically, these disorders are linked to various neuromodulators (i.e. serotonin and dopamine), as well as dysfunction in both cognitive and socio-affective brain networks. Increasing evidence suggests that the gut environment, and particularly the microbiome, plays a significant role in individual mental health. Although the presence of a gut-brain communication axis has long been established, recent studies argue that the development and regulation of this axis is dictated by the gut microbiome. Many studies involving both animals and humans have connected the gut microbiome with depression, anxiety and ASD. Microbiome-centred treatments for individuals with these same NPDs have yielded promising results. Despite its recent rise and underlying similarities to other NPDs, both biochemically and symptomatically, connections between the gut microbiome and ADHD currently lag behind those for other NPDs. We demonstrate that all evidence points to the importance of, and dire need for, a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the role of the gut microbiome in ADHD, to deepen our understanding of a condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide.