The gut microbiome in bipolar disorder and pharmacotherapy management

Stephanie A. Flowers*, Kristen M. Ward, Crystal T. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The gut microbiome is a complex and dynamic community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that exist in a bidirectional relationship with the host. Bacterial functions in the gut play a critical role in healthy host functioning, and its disruption can contribute to many medical conditions. The relationship between gut microbiota and the brain has gained attention in mental health due to the mounting evidence supporting the association of gut bacteria with mood and behavior. Patients with bipolar disorder exhibit an increased frequency of gastrointestinal illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, which mechanistically has been linked to microbial community function. While the heterogeneity in microbial communities between individuals might be associated with disease risk, it may also moderate the efficacy or adverse effects associated with the use of medication. The following review highlights published evidence linking the function of gut microbiota both to bipolar disorder risk and to the effect of medications that influence microbiota, inflammation, and mood symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Gut microbiome
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Mood disorders
  • Personalized medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'The gut microbiome in bipolar disorder and pharmacotherapy management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this