What do Harry Potter and psychotropic drugs have in common?

Speaking on stage at Researchfest as part of Inspirefest 2018, University College Cork researcher Sofia Cussotto was able to find a comparison between the world of Harry Potter and psychotropic drugs.

Translating to ‘mind-turning’ from Greek, psychotropic drugs are ones that affect human behaviour, specifically brain disorders.

In her research, Cussotto compared three microbes to Harry, Hermione and Ron travelling into the Chamber of Secrets, representing the human gut and our microbiome closely linked with our brain.

While we know how psychotropic drugs react in our brain, Cussotto is trying to understand how they affect our microbiome.

Words by Colm Gorey