The Ageing Gut–Brain study: Exploring the role of the gut microbiota in dementia

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Abstract

Up to 90% of people with dementia will experience behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) as part of their illness, and nearly two-thirds of those living with dementia in care homes will experience BPSD. BPSD describe the disturbed perceptions, thought content, moods or behaviours that frequently occur in patients with dementia. There is increasing evidence that the gut microbiota plays a role in the interaction between specific nutrients and brain function. The Ageing Gut–Brain study described here is based on the hypothesis that the gut microbiota, and microbial metabolites, impact upon the gut–brain axis and thereby on behaviour, including BPSD. In the absence of available cures for Alzheimer's disease and its symptoms, if evidence in support of the gut–brain axis hypothesis is found, diet/nutritional interventions comprising important modifiable component/s may have significant impact on the management of BPSD.

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Johnstone, A. M., Donaldson, A. I. C., Scott, K. P., & Myint, P. K. (2019). The Ageing Gut–Brain study: Exploring the role of the gut microbiota in dementia. Nutrition Bulletin, 44(2), 145–153. https://doi.org/10.1111/nbu.12378

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