The Gut Microbiome in Neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's Disease

The microbial populations of the gut influence and are influenced by the state of the immune system. They also have effects on tissue function throughout the body via secreted compounds such as butyrate, mediating some of the effects of diet on long-term health. These microbes change with age, losing beneficial populations and gaining harmful populations that contribute to chronic inflammation. These changes are far from fully explored at the present time, but may have effects on health that rival those resulting from regular exercise. In this open access review, researchers discuss the influence of gut microbes on chronic inflammation of the brain, and the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex, multi-factorial disease affecting various brain systems. This complexity implies that successful therapies must be directed against several core neuropathological targets rather than single ones. The scientific community has made great efforts to identify the right AD targets beside the historic amyloid-β. Neuroinflammation is re-emerging as determinant in the neuropathological process of AD. A new theory, still in its infancy, highlights the role of gut microbiota in the control of brain development, but also in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous systems, called gut-brain axes, is largely influenced by gut microbiota and the immune system is a potential key mediator of this interaction. Growing evidence points to the role of gut microbiota in the maturation and activation of host microglia and peripheral immune cells. Several recent studies have found abnormalities in gut microbiota (dysbiosis) in AD populations. These observations raise the intriguing question whether and how gut microbiota dysbiosis could contribute to AD development through action on the immune system and whether, in a therapeutic prospective, the development of strategies preserving a healthy gut microbiota might become a valuable approach to prevent AD.

Link: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2019.00284

Comments

I have short bowel syndrome and I have been sick for years (mostly bed-ridden). I am still a young person. My short bowel syndrome resulted from a surgery that removed more than 50% of my small intestine. I have less than 2 m left. Because of my medical situation, this studies interests me. I believe that I suffer from (for doctors undetectable?) chronic inflammations lead to lethargy and other ailments. My blood tests show nothing unusual except for low vitamin D recently, which I can fix. However, all else having been excluded as a viable solution to this medical mystery case, I believe the gut bacteria must be the main reason for my ailments. Recently, I have been eating lots of chili pepper because I noticed it bad beneficial effects and made my stomach feel more comfortable, it also helped me to become physically active again. However, over the years, I have noticed some slow cognitive decline and some speech problems. I cannot tolerate sound anymore and it makes me go crazy to listen to someone talking for too long, because it just becomes meaningless and I lose concentration. I truly hate it when people talk to me, and that is why I prefer typing. This made me wonder whether these weird features, rather than being psychologically readily explained, might be symptoms of cognitive decline. In any case, it is not that bad because I can still function. There question is rather: What to do about it? I hope science hurries up, so I can get treatment.

Posted by: Short Bowel Syndrome patient at November 14th, 2019 8:09 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.