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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Depression And Your Microbiome

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Thanks to the internet and social media, living in 2018, humans are now exposed to more harmful, and at times significantly more stressful, news than someone who lived in 1980. Current studies show that one in four freshmen report experiencing mental health struggles, which can lead to a host of concerns including academic struggles. More alarming is that NCAA colligate athletes are reported to suffer from mental health issues at higher rates than their non-athlete peers. Current research has shown that the gut microbiome, the vast array of microorganisms in the gut, has a direct connection to the brain, and thus may have a significant, bidirectional impact on mental health. More research is needed to investigate how the microbiome of students and student-athletes changes over the course of their first semester in college, given the new environment and increased stress that many students face. A pilot study that would consist of 5 student-athletes and 5 traditional students will complete a pre and post semester microbiome analysis, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan, heart rate variability analysis, and demographic and psychosocial questionnaires to help identify potentially related changes in mental health, physical health, and body composition. Participants will also be responsible for keeping a daily food log for the duration of the study. The study will serve as a basis for further research in hopes of furthering our understanding of gut health and its relationship to mental health. The link between depression specifically and the makeup of the microbiome would be the key focus. Studying student-athletes’ and traditional student’s microbiomes in relation to student life and performance will allow for the possibility of improving sport and academic performance and alleviate possible symptoms depression these groups frequently face.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Sherrill Center Concourse

Attendees (1)