Research News

Could gut bacteria play a role in Alzheimer’s disease?

February, 2017    |

A new study out of Sweden’s Lund University has found a possible relationship between gut bacteria and the development of Alzheimer’s. According to researchers, intestinal bacteria can accelerate the development of the disease.

Through the study of both healthy and diseased mice, the researchers noticed that mice suffering from Alzheimer’s had a different composition of gut bacteria than healthy subjects. To clarify the link between these variables, the researchers transferred intestinal bacteria from diseased mice to healthy ones. They discovered that mice with the diseased bacteria developed more beta-amyloid plaques.

“Our study is unique as it shows a direct causal link between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease. It was striking that the mice which completely lacked bacteria developed much less plaque in the brain,” says researcher Frida Fåk Hållenius, at the Food for Health Science Centre.

“The results mean that we can now begin researching ways to prevent the disease and delay the onset. We consider this to be a major breakthrough as we used to only be able to give symptom-relieving antiretroviral drugs.”

The researchers will continue to study the role of bacteria in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. They also plan to test entirely new types of preventive and therapeutic strategies based on the modulation of the gut microbiota through diet and new probiotics.

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