The Alzheimer disease It is the most common cause of dementia, and is characterized by the loss of memory and other cognitive abilities, a deterioration that progresses to the point of disabling the patient, who loses the ability to carry out daily activities, and even take care of his or her family. personal hygiene or eating for oneself.
Discovering the possible risk factors that influence a person developing Alzheimer’s is very important to prevent or delay its onset and, of course, to develop effective treatments. Now, for the first time, a team of scientists has discovered that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be transferred to a young, healthy body through microbiota intestinalwhich confirms that this group of microorganisms is involved in some way in the disease.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Brain and show that the intestinal microbiome – a set of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, archaea…) that reside in the intestine and their genetic interactions – is a fundamental objective in research on Alzheimer’s because it is determined by lifestyle habits and environmental factors.
“Animals with intestinal bacteria from people with Alzheimer’s produced fewer new nerve cells and had impaired memory”
The research has been directed by professor Yvonne Nolanfrom APC Microbiome Ireland, a research center based at University College Cork (UCC), and the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC, alongside Professor Sandrine Thuret at Kings College London and Dr Annamaria Cattaneo from the ICS Fatebenefratelli (Italy).
Abundance of proinflammatory bacteria in patients with Alzheimer’s
The researchers found that memory deficits in people with Alzheimer’s could be transferred to young animals through intestinal microbiota transplant. Alzheimer’s patients had a greater abundance of bacteria that promoted inflammation in fecal samples, and these changes were directly associated with their cognitive status.
“The memory tests we investigate are based on the growth of new nerve cells in the hippocampal region of the brain. We saw that animals with intestinal bacteria from people with Alzheimer’s produced fewer new nerve cells and had impaired memory,” explained Professor Yvonne Nolan.
“People with Alzheimer’s are typically diagnosed when cognitive symptoms manifest, a time when it may be too late, at least for current therapeutic approaches. Understanding the role of gut microbes during the prodrome (precursor signs of the disease) or early-stage dementia, before the possible onset of symptoms, may open avenues for the development of new therapy, or even individualized intervention.” , Add.
Sandrine Thuret, Professor of Neuroscience at Kings College London and one of the lead authors of the study, said: “Alzheimer’s is an insidious condition for which there is still no effective treatment. This study represents an important step forward in our understanding of the disease, confirming that composition of our intestinal microbiota It has a causal role in the development of the disease. “This collaborative research has laid the foundation for future research in this area, and my hope is that it will lead to potential advances in therapeutic interventions.”