The Scientist - "Research Links Gut Health To Neurodegeneration" - Jef Akst

New York, NY
 – November 13, 2017  –– 

A growing body of evidence points to an intimate relationship between the gut and the brain – both in health and disease. Comparing the gut microbes of mice with Alzheimer’s-like pathology and healthy control, researchers found noticeable differences in microbiome composition. Treating the diseased mice with probiotics decreased gut leakiness and inflammation, which had been elevated in these animals, and boosted memory performance. A question is how the microbiome is involved in this link between the gut and the degenerating brain. One possibility is diet. For example, Lap Ho, PhD, professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai presented in vitro data showing that valeric acid, a metabolite of fiber, interferes with the aggregation of a-synuclein and the formation of fibrils, suggesting that “diet-gut microbiome interactions may contribute to susceptibility and/or resilience to Parkinson’s,” he said.

- Lap Ho, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

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