Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jay Metzger


Fecal Transplant; Gut Microbiome; Depression; Anxiety; Mood disorders; Probiotics


The purpose of this research and literature review is to explore the possible role that gut microbiome alterations have in the treatment of neurobehavioral diseases; specifically, anxiety and depression. This literature review searched PubMed, CINAHL, and Clinical Key. A variety of key terms were used during the search. Due to the field of research being relatively new and limited, studies from the last ten years and animal models were included in the study. Studies were excluded due to poor design or if the studies did not include anxiety or depression in the research. The research shows that there are the are multiple pathophysiologic pathways leading to the development of anxiety and depression. However, that the gut plays a much larger role in brain health than previously thought. Additionally, this study explores probiotics as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety. The research also shows a correlation between pathologic bacteria, inflammatory pathways, and a reduction in neurotransmitters associated with behavioral health. The limiting factors of this research was sample size, as many of the studies were conducted as pilot studies, as well as variations in the dosage of probiotics used in the control trials comparing probiotics to placebos. Overall, the research shows promise, but larger studies would be needed to establish guidelines recommending microbiome alterations as a treatment of anxiety and depression.