Dementia: New study possible early indicators of the disease in the gut

Dementia: New study possible early indicators of the disease in the gut

Dementia: Dr Sara on benefits of being in nature

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There is an established link between the people with Alzheimer’s disease and their gut microbiome – the bacteria present in their digestive tract. A new study has found that even before the development of Alzheimer’s disease there are measurable changes in the gut bacteria that are associated with cognitive decline. The researchers believe that this could enable the development of new screening programs and diagnostic tools. The research was published in the Hindawi Journal of Immunology Research.

The researchers examined stool samples from 48 people with and without mild cognitive impairment (a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease).

They examined the genetic composition to identify the species of bacteria that were present.

The group with cognitive decline had a significantly different proportion of some species.

They believe they have identified a signature series of species in the guts of people with mild cognitive impairment.

The research builds on previous works examining the correlation between the gut microbiome and Alzheimer’s.

Some species of bacteria have been correlated to build-up biomarkers of Alzheimer’s.

Animal studies have found that disruptions to the gut microbiome can cause learning impairments.

These works are broadly correlative and observational, with a causal mechanism not yet understood.

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The gut microbiome’s interactions with the nervous system is surprisingly extensive.

The interaction has been found to go both ways, with the gut affecting the nervous system and the nervous system influencing the gut.

Anxiety and depression have sometimes been found to result from disruption to the microbiome.

These cases have successfully been treated with probiotic supplements.

Mild cognitive impairment is a diagnosis of declining mental faculties that are stronger than those typically experienced through ageing.

It often will, but does not always lead to dementia.

People with mild cognitive impairment can engage in lifestyle changes that reduce their risk of progressing to dementia.

This includes regular physical and mental exercises, and maintaining a range of interests that you find engaging.

Other risk factors for dementia include diet, smoking, alcohol and family history.

Studies have suggested that nearly 20 percent of people of 65 suffer from mild cognitive impairment and that most will eventually develop into dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK predicts a trebling of dementia rates between 2018 and 2050.

It is already listed as a comorbidity in a quarter of hospitalisations, making people more susceptible to other health complications.

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