Bacteria, as most of us know- are tiny microscopic creatures that are opportunistic pathogens. They are everywhere around us. From the bed sheets to your car door, any surface that you touch has bacteria on it. Some readers will find it surprising that bacteria live even at the bottom of the seafloor.
Let’s not go far away and limit to the human body. The gut biome of humans is now a common concept that the majority of people know. But have anyone of you ever heard about a bacteria that live inside the human brain?
A common perception is that a healthy individual’s brain is free from any disease-causing agent even bacteria.
A recent revolutionary research tells that that there are bacteria in our brain. This research that may possess some incredible implications. Probably it will also explain the relationship between gut bacteria and brain function.
A research team in Neurobiology from the University of Alabama presented their preliminary findings at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in last month. The idea of having a brain’s own microbiota has been popular for long. However, there was no study to prove it. Click here to read a relevant piece of information.
In this research, the investigators studied samples from 34 postmortem human brains. Half of these samples were of people with schizophrenia (Click here to read its a verification news). It discovered that all the brains have different amounts of rod-shaped bacteria.
The most frequent area of this bacteria identification was the substantia nigra, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex, with smaller numbers in the striatum.
The author of this research elaborates that if we accept that bacteria get up to brain either from the gut or nasal passages and reside there in live humans or animals, any case it is revolutionary news.
There were chances that this bacteria’s presence is the result of gut bacteria that may make their way to the brain, after a person dies. To confirm and test this proposition, the researchers analyzed a number of sterilized mouse brains in the same way as these human brain samples. There was no contamination of bacteria at all. This experiment tells that the human brains didn’t contain bacteria because of contamination after a person dies.
Most intriguing of all, do you know that these bacterial strains were the same any one may expect to find in the gut? These bacterial strains include Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes.
The identification of bacteria in the brain is surprising and mainly because the
blood-brain barrier that is near the brain’s blood vessels. It guards the brain against all invaders like bacteria.
By any chance, if a pathogen makes its way to the barrier, it leads to life threatening health condition like brain inflammation. But surprisingly this new bacteria inside the brain didn’t show any such symptom.
The question arises that how did this bacteria get into the human brain? Are these the same bacteria that are in the gut? How are these bacteria living peacefully in the human brain without causing any inflammation?
The research team isn’t sure about any of these questions as this current research only marked the identification of pathogens in the brain. Nevertheless, with more research on brain microbiome will explain the existence of brain bacteria. All these findings are preliminary and it emphasizes on more research in this area.