Depression and Anxiety in IBD Patients Associated with Vascular Barrier

Flat design with people. IBD - Inflammatory Bowel Disease . acronym, medical concept background. Vector illustration for website banner, marketing materials, business presentation, onlineResearch from Italy has found a possible link between depression and anxiety in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and the vascular barrier in the brain. The study published in the journal Science describes the gut-brain axis response to inflammation and its relationship to psychiatric illness.

While previous research has shown that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can experience depression and anxiety, this is one of the first looks at what happens to other parts of the body when inflammation in the gut arises. Researchers wish to outline that there may be a physical reason why some people experience other ailments rather than it just being a natural reaction.


For the study, lab mice were used to help understand the gut-brain connection. Researchers found that when inflammation happens in the gut due to IBD, the body can react to prevent the inflammation from spreading to other parts of the body.

One response researchers found in the mice was the closure of the vascular barrier in the brain’s choroid plexus. This group of cells produce cerebrospinal fluid for the central nervous system. It also serves as a barrier preventing material from moving between the cerebrospinal fluid and blood vessels.

Communication Disruptions

These findings helped researchers conclude that the vascular barrier’s closure caused communication disruptions between several organs in the body. This could also possibly hinder some brain functions.

The mice in the study, which showed a closed vascular barrier in the choroid plexus, showed a loss of short-term memory and behavior that has previously been associated with anxiety.

Researchers suggest that at least some anxiety and depression in IBD patients may be due to the closure of the choroid plexus. They hope these findings will lead to other research efforts involved in studying problems with the central nervous system.

If future studies are able to show that the closure of the choroid plexus could lead to psychiatric ailments, it may be possible to develop therapeutic options. These treatments could prevent such closure of the vascular barrier while still preventing inflammation from the gut from spreading to the brain.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.