The gut–brain axis refers to the bidirectional communication that occurs between the intestinal tract and central nervous system (CNS). Through a series of neural, immune, endocrine, and metabolic signalling pathways, commensal microbiota are able to influence CNS development and neurological function. Alterations in gut microbiota have been implicated in various neuropathologies. The purpose of this review is to evaluate and summarise existing literature assessing the role of specific bacterial taxa on the development of neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative pathologies of childhood. We will also discuss microbiota-based therapies dietary interventions and their efficacy.
Methods and analysis:
We will search PubMed, Cochrane Library, and OVID electronic databases for articles published between January 1980 and February 2021. A search method involving two rounds of reviewing the literature using a three-step method in each round will be performed. Two researchers will be selected, and screen titles and abstracts independently. The full text of selected articles will be assessed against inclusion criteria. Data will be extracted and evaluated using the appropriate Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist.
Ethics and dissemination:
Findings from this study will be shared across relevant paediatric neurology and gastroenterology societies and submitted for peer review. This study did not require institutional ethics approval.