Home Ambasciatori della Festa di Scienza e Filosofia LETTERA alla DOTT.SSA MARY CASE e RELATIVA RISPOSTA (eng)



my name is Valentina Tinti and I’m a student attending the “G. Mazzatinti” Highschool in Gubbio (Liceo Scientifico “G. Mazzatinti” – Gubbio).
I find your subject matter of study extremely interesting, especially because being an athlete, I believe that the relationship between brain and intestine is of fundamental importance.
Surfing on the Internet, I’ve found ou t that recently, studies on the role of complex populations of intestinal bacteria, the so-called microbiota, are a field in full expansion and this has several positive implications with our health system.
Thanks mainly to genome sequencing technologies we started to learn more about the incredible variety of microorganisms that populate our intestinal tract. Therefore, unexpected links have been discovered between the composition of the microbiota and some aspects of our health. While some of them are of more immediate understanding, such as the health of the digestive tract or obesity, other aspects appear to be less obvious. In fact, the functioning of the immune system or even the brain have emerged as being pivotal.
I was wondering how is that possible? Could you please explain to me how your studies work?
Thank you very much for your time in helping me have a better understanding of your field of studies.

Valentina Tinti


Thank you for your email Valentina,
Your question is the central core mechanism of the presentation, and I applaud your deep scientific thinking.
The Gut Brain Axis (Brain-Gastrointestinal System-Gut Microbiota) links emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral functioning of the digestive tract.

– In animals there is clinical evidence that gut microbiota dysbiosis causes behavior changes and central nervous system disease.

– To date, in humans there is clinical evidence that gut microbiota dysbiosis is correlated with behavior and central nervous system disease.

– The “coin of the realm” is the immune system. Microbiota, microbiota elements, and microbiota metabolites can trigger the whole range of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory immune system cells and their cytokines. That immune system “translation” is what directly cues the vagus nerve or the brain to respond.

I will refer to  the following human diseases that are influenced by the gut microbiota – ASD (Attention Deficit Disorder) MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) PD (Parkinson’s Disease) MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and AD (Alzheimer’s Disease).
I arbitrarily did not include IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) in this presentation.
Here is a summary slide from my talk.

Dott.ssa Mary Case