Introduction: Cognitive dysfunction is prevalent in depressive as well as manic episodes in individuals with Bipolar Disorder (BD). Even more, after symptom remission, many individuals with BD experience persisting cognitive impairment also in euthymic periods, leading to high illness burden and low quality of life. According to a recent research in animals and healthy humans, microbiota may influence cognitive processes via the brain-gut axis. A strategy to examine the role of the microbiota in different diseases is the intake of supplements that modulate the gut microbiome. The aim of this pilot study was to analyze the impact of probiotic supplements on cognitive parameters in a cohort of euthymic individuals with BD, receiving daily probiotic treatment over a time period of 3 months. Methods: A total of 20 euthymic individuals with BD received probiotic supplement over a time period of 3 months and completed a cognitive test battery at 3 time points (t1 at time of inclusion, t2 after one month and t3 after 3 months of probiotic intake). Results: We found a significant improvement of performance concerning attention and psychomotor processing speed measured with the Digit Symbol Test after one (t2) as well as after 3 months (t3) of treatment (F = 8.60; η2 = 0.49, p < 0.01). Furthermore, executive function measured with the TMT-B, increased significantly over 3 months (F = 3.68; η2 = 0.29, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The results confirm the hypotheses that probiotic supplement might help stable individuals with BD to improve the cognitive function, which in turn might lead to better psychosocial, occupational, work and financial functioning. Nevertheless, the idea of this potential new treatment is challenging because of the variety of the human’s gut microbiota.

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