Neuromodulation and the Gut-Brain Axis: Therapeutic Mechanisms and Implications for Gastrointestinal and Neurological Disorders

Author: Baha' Aljeradat1,2, Danisha Kumar1,3, Sulaiman Abdulmuizz1,4, Mrinmoy Kundu1,5, Yasser F Almealawy1,6, Dima Ratib Batarseh1,2, Oday Atallah1,7, Michelle Ennabe1,8, Muath Alsarafandi1,9,10, Albert Alan1,11,12, Martin Weinand11,12
1 Global Neurosurgical Alliance, Tucson, AZ 85716, USA.
2 School of Medicine, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan.
3 Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi 74200, Pakistan.
4 College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin 240003, Kwara, Nigeria.
5 Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar 751029, India.
6 Faculty of Medicine, University of Kufa, Kufa P.O. Box 21, Iraq.
7 Department of Neurosurgery, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany.
8 College of Medicine, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA.
9 College of Medicine, Islamic University of Gaza, Rafa Refugee Camp, Rafa P.O. Box 108, Palestine.
10 Faculty of Medicine, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza P.O. Box 108, Palestine.
11 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.
12 College of Medicine, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ 85004, USA.
Conference/Journal: Pathophysiology
Date published: 2024 May 17
Other: Volume ID: 31 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 244-268 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/pathophysiology31020019. , Word Count: 220

The gut-brain axis (GBA) represents a complex, bidirectional communication network that intricately connects the gastrointestinal tract with the central nervous system (CNS). Understanding and intervening in this axis opens a pathway for therapeutic advancements for neurological and gastrointestinal diseases where the GBA has been proposed to play a role in the pathophysiology. In light of this, the current review assesses the effectiveness of neuromodulation techniques in treating neurological and gastrointestinal disorders by modulating the GBA, involving key elements such as gut microbiota, neurotrophic factors, and proinflammatory cytokines. Through a comprehensive literature review encompassing PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library, this research highlights the role played by the GBA in neurological and gastrointestinal diseases, in addition to the impact of neuromodulation on the management of these conditions which include both gastrointestinal (irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)) and neurological disorders (Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and neuropsychiatric disorders). Despite existing challenges, the ability of neuromodulation to adjust disrupted neural pathways, alleviate pain, and mitigate inflammation is significant in improving the quality of life for patients, thereby offering exciting prospects for future advancements in patient care.

Keywords: deep brain stimulation; gut–brain axis; inflammatory bowel disease; irritable bowel syndrome; neuromodulation; vagus nerve stimulation.

PMID: 38804299 DOI: 10.3390/pathophysiology31020019