Tensions between the brain, the gut, and the makeup of its microbial inhabitants appear to play a critical role in the development of neurodegenerative conditions.
While evidence favoring a link between the microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGBA) and Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow, the exact mechanism behind the relationship is still poorly understood.
The puzzle pieces have so far been frustratingly incoherent, involving seemingly unrelated factors as tangled proteins inside nervous tissue to suspect gut microbes to subtle differences in fat-transporting molecules.
Using the largest ever genome-wide association study of human gut microflora, a team of researchers from the US sought out a more explicit relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and the mix of organisms living inside the digestive system.
Their analysis uncovered not only a genetic connection between different genera of gut bacteria and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s but also a link between the microbes and a genetic risk factor for the neurodegenerative disorder.
The study further emphasizes the interplay of genetic factors and inflammatory gut microflora in healthy brain function. [Continue reading…]