Exploring the Connection Between Diet, Gut Microbes and Cognitive Decline
Are abnormal intestinal microorganisms a risk factor for developing cognitive impairment? Researchers at Rush University Medical Center are trying to answer that question with a new study that will explore how the intestinal microbiota – the bacteria in the intestine –influence the progression of cognitive decline and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Health care providers and researchers increasing are recognizing that the intestinal microbiota – also known as the microbiome – affects health. The human intestine contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, and humans have developed a symbiotic relationship with these bacteria in.
Food consumption by humans provides food/energy to this intestinal bacteria, which in turn influence health by producing numerous biologically relevant substances, including vitamins, and strongly influence the immune system. Studies show that the intestinal microbiota also influences the brain.
For example, changes in the intestinal microbiota can influence anxiety- and depression-like symptoms in rodents and can promote brain pathology in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.