To Your Health
September, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 09)
Could Alzheimer's Start in the Gut?
By Editorial Staff
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia among older adults, and it also may be the most troubling.
Whenever brain cells die, causing memory loss and cognitive decline that can progressively take away your ability to perform even the simplest tasks, it's no laughing matter. Even worse, there is currently no cure – only medication to help manage some of the symptoms.
That's a pretty bleak picture, but there is good news: research may be getting us one step closer to identifying the potential causes of the disease. Case in point: a study published in EBioMedicine that suggests gut bacteria may play a role. Researchers performed a small pilot study and identified several chemicals produced by GI bacteria were present in study participants suffering from mild cognitive impairment ... but not in participants without impairment. What's more, according to the study these bacterial "signatures" were associated with higher levels of Alzheimer's disease markers in cognitively impaired subjects.
The study also suggests that dietary changes that improve the gut microbiome and promote healthy bacteria (in the study, they used a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet) that may reduce levels of Alzheimer's markers – both in people with mild cognitive impairment and those without any impairment. Now that's a potential win-win in the battle against Alzheimer's!