Study confirms link between Alzheimer’s and gut health


People with bowel disorders may be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study conducted by Edith Cowan University.
The study confirmed the link between the two, and could lead to earlier detection and new potential treatments.
AD destroys memory and thinking ability and is the most common form of dementia.
It has no known curative treatment and is expected to affect more than 82 million people and cost US$2 trillion by 2030.
Previous observational studies have suggested a relationship between AD and gastrointestinal tract disorders, but what underlies these relationships was unclear — until now.
of ECU Precision Health Center Confirming a genetic link between AD and multiple gut disorders has now provided new insights into these relationships.
The study analyzed large sets of genetic data from AD and several gut-disorder studies — each of about 400,000 people.
Research leader Dr Emmanuel Adewyi It was the first comprehensive evaluation of the genetic relationship between AD and multiple bowel disorders.
The team discovered that people with AD and gut disorders share a common gene — which is important for several reasons.
“The study provides a novel insight into the genetics behind the observed co-occurrence of AD and gut disorders,” Dr. Adeyuyi said.
“This improves our understanding of the causes of these conditions and identifies new targets to investigate to potentially detect disease earlier and develop new treatments for both conditions.”
Center for Precision Health Director and Study Supervisor Professor Simon Laws That said, while the study doesn’t conclude that gut disorders cause AD or vice versa, the results are extremely valuable.
“These findings provide further evidence to support the concept of a ‘gut-brain’ axis, a two-way link between the brain’s cognitive and emotional centers and gut function,” Prof. laws said.
Is Cholesterol a Key?
When the researchers conducted further analysis into the shared genetics, they found other important links between AD and bowel disorders — such as the role cholesterol may play.
Dr. Abnormal cholesterol levels have been shown to be a risk factor for both AD and gut disorders, Adewuyi said.
“Given the genetic and biological characteristics common to AD and these intestinal disorders suggest a strong role for lipid metabolism, immunosuppression and cholesterol-lowering drugs,” he said.
“While more studies are needed into the shared mechanisms between the conditions, there is evidence that high cholesterol can transfer to the central nervous system, resulting in abnormal cholesterol metabolism in the brain.
“There is also evidence suggesting that abnormal blood lipids can be caused or worsened by gut bacteria (H. pylori), all of which supports the potential roles of abnormal lipids in AD and gut disorders.
“For example, elevated cholesterol in the brain is associated with brain degeneration and subsequent cognitive impairment.”
Hope for the future
The cholesterol link may prove important in future treatments for AD.
While there is currently no known curative treatment, study findings suggest that cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) may be therapeutically beneficial in treating both AD and gut disorders.
“Evidence suggests that statins have properties that help reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system, and protect the gut,” Dr. Adewui said.
However, he said more studies are needed and patients need to be evaluated individually to determine whether they would benefit from statin use.
Research also suggests that diet may play a role in the treatment and prevention of AD and bowel disorders.

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