Microbiome Therapy for the Treatment of Neurological or Behavioral Disorders

Cornell University Background
Recent research efforts have greatly expanded our understanding of the microbiota, with mounting evidence describing the influence of microbial communities on development, metabolism, and immunity. Alterations in the microbiota have also been shown to modulate host behaviors, but the exact mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly understood. Identification of these mechanisms involved in the “gut-brain axis” may improve our understanding of behavioral disorders and serve as the foundation for therapeutic development.
Technology Overview
This technology describes a method to prevent and treat disorders of neuropsychiatric development and cognitive function by administering a known composition of probiotics or microbiome-derived metabolites. This technology is based on the finding that antibiotic-treated or germ-free mice develop significantly altered neuronal activity and behaviors, particularly in fear extinction learning. The inventors demonstrated that selective reintroduction of the microbiota restored behavioral deficits in adult mice, highlighting a potential strategy for therapeutic intervention.
Furthermore, the inventors identified a series of microbiome-derive metabolites that were significantly downregulated in germ-free mice, suggesting administration of these compounds may help restore brain function and behavior. As such, this technology may enable strategies to prevent and treat a variety of neurological and behavioral disorders, particularly in individuals at risk of developing altered microbiota.
Further Details:

Chu et al. “The microbiota regulate neuronal function and fear extinction learning.” Nature. 2019.


Targets the gut-brain axis to ensure normal neurological development
May be administered as either probiotic compositions or small molecule metabolites


Prevention of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neuropsychiatric disorders in newborns with altered microbiota exposure (e.g., pre-term birth, C-section)
Treatment of ASD, schizophrenia, and related disorders in children and adults
Reintroduction of beneficial bacteria after antibiotic treatment or radiation therapy
Supplements for the promotion of general brain health and cognitive development

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