Published: 01-12-2020 14:01 | Updated: 03-12-2020 16:06

New thesis on the Gut-brain Axis in ADHD

Liu Yang from the research group Translational Psychiatry, the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "Exploring the Gut-brain Axis in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)" on December 4, 2020. Main Supervisor is Catharina Lavebratt.

Liu Yang
Liu Yang

What's the main focus of your thesis?

The aims of the thesis were to explore the connection between the gut microbiota and the brain, termed gut-brain axis, in neurodevelopment with a focus on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and to explore a new adjuvant therapeutic strategy for ADHD.

Which are the most important results?

Elevated vascular inflammation was found overrepresented in persons with ADHD. A novel adjuvant treatment with lactic bacteria and dietary fibers reduced comorbid autistic traits and emotion dysregulation in persons with ADHD. The effects may be through reduced inflammation and restored levels of certain bacterial metabolites. The results were preliminary and need to be confirmed in larger studies.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people's health?

Our studies suggest that the gut-brain axis plays a role in emotion regulation and comorbid autistic traits in ADHD, indicating that behaviors can be influenced by the microbiota in the gut. Healthy diet or supplementation with probiotics/prebiotics may have positive effects for some persons with ADHD.

What are your future ambitions?

I will continue with research on the gut-brain axis in neurodevelopmental disorders, with more in-depth analyses of the gut bacteria composition, bacterial metabolites and their associations with brain function and behaviors. I hope that our findings can contribute to the future development of new diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic strategies in the field.


Friday December 4, 2020 at 09:30, venue CMM Lecture Hall, L8:00 Karolinska University Hospital Solna or digitally via Zoom


Exploring the gut-brain axis in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Liu Yang Affiliated to Research