Nickie Nie

Date of Award


First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Jessica Robbins


This thesis presents a review of contemporary literature and research on the connections between humans’ gut microbiota and brain, and the resulting psychopathological implications of these connections–especially when they go awry. Our gut microbiota, which is comprised of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, is intricately connected to multiple aspects of life, most obviously our physical health, from obesity to immune deficiencies to allergies. Also--and less obviously--our gut is connected to our mental health.. This thesis explores the dynamic relationship between our microbiota and mood disorders (especially depression), anxiety, thought disorders (schizophrenia), and Alzheimers. The analysis concludes by recognizing that this a field that is still quite new, much of the research to date is exploratory, and there is a lot we have still yet to learn about this connection.

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