Gut bacteria

Carers in households of people with dementia are six times more likely to develop it themselves. Research suggest that the proportions of certain gut bacteria may be the key.

 A recent Japanese study found that those with a lower proportion of gut bacteria that neutralise inflammation-causing plant toxins are more likely to have dementia. Chronic inflammation has already been linked to neurodegenerative conditions. Feces from from the participants was examined to establish the proportions of different species of bacteria. Interestingly, the compounds that cause the bad smells are caused by the less beneficial bacteria. 

Now the University of Tasmania is seeking volunteers for a study which will look at the gut bacteria or ‘microbiota’ of people living at home with dementia and that of their carers, to examine the correlation between that bacteria, cognitive function and stress.It could be that diet plays a role and determining gut bacteria and hence the risk for dementia. 

See more on the UoT study here and the Japanese study here at Medical News Today.