Scientists have found a link between stress and the gut. Researchers discovered that the mechanisms behind chronic stress and tiny inflammations in the brain has an effect on fatal gut failure, and could create a bold impact in helping sufferers of multiple sclerosis (MS).
These results demonstrate a direct link between brain micro-inflammation and fatal gastrointestinal diseases via the establishment of a new neural pathway under stress.
According to Science Daily, researchers from the Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan discovered that fatal gut failure in an MS mouse model under chronic stress is caused by a nerve pathway not found before. The new discoveries are helping scientists come up with new therapeutic strategies for the incurable disease which has no provable therapeutic strategy today.
Experts claim the findings are a significant breakthrough in the fight against MS. This potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system (CNS) affects more than 2.5 million globally. As it affects the brain and spinal cord, it causes sufferers to experience major motor dysfunction, impaired vision, and even gastrointestinal failures. “It is an autoimmune condition of the central nervous system mediated by immune cells called autoreactive CD4+ T cells,” the website writes. They further explained that in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse models, these pathogenic CD4+ T cells can cause a disease similar to MS when transfused intravenously to healthy mice.
In their study, the team and their partners in Germany and Japan investigated the “relations between chronic stress, micro-inflammation in the brain, and stress-related organ failures.”
For research purposes, the team applied stress to healthy mice by disturbing their sleep or by wetting their bedding. The stress caused the mice to transfer pathogenic CD4+ T cells which caused gastrointestinal failures or even sudden death. The findings were important because acting alone, both the cell transfer and the stress didn’t cause the symptoms independently. As research progressed, scientists found a complex nerve and cell structure which highlighted the link between stress and the effects on the gut.
The medical team found that they were able to prevent gut failure by suppressing inflammation in the brain or blocking nerve pathways from the brain to the gut. “The results suggest that tiny areas of inflammation around some specific vessels in the brain, which are known to happen in various brain diseases including multiple sclerosis, are a risk factor for organ dysfunctions including severe gut and heart failure,” the website adds.
“These results demonstrate a direct link between brain micro-inflammation and fatal gastrointestinal diseases via the establishment of a new neural pathway under stress,” Masaaki Murakami, lead researcher, said. “Micro-inflammation in the brain is also seen in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. So it’s of particular interest to investigate possible connections between brain micro-inflammations and organ dysfunctions, including those within the brain itself, in those patients,” he added.
Not only is the latest research important for MS sufferers, but experts claim it’s an important finding for those suffering from stress and stomach issues. There is now tangible evidence to suggest that there is a direct link between stress and the stomach. The science and medical fields needs more focus on these findings which could help millions of suffers around the world.