Gut Microbial Taxonomic Profiles Differ With, Without Preclinical Alzheimer Disease

Change in gut microbiome composition associated with β-amyloid and tau pathological brain biomarkers
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, June 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Gut microbial taxonomic profiles are distinct for individuals with and without preclinical Alzheimer disease (AD), according to a study published in the June 14 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Aura L. Ferreiro, Ph.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to compare the taxonomic composition and gut microbial function in a cohort of 164 cognitively normal individuals, 49 of whom showed biomarker evidence of early preclinical AD. Participants were recruited from existing longitudinal cohort studies.

The researchers observed an association for the change in gut microbiome composition with altered β-amyloid and tau pathological biomarkers in the brain, but not with biomarkers of neurodegeneration. Specific gut bacterial taxa associated with preclinical AD were identified. Gut species most linked to preclinical AD status included Dorea formicigenerans, Oscillibacter sp. 57_20, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Coprococcus catus, and Anaerostipes hadrus. When tested on a subset of the cohort (65 of 164 participants), inclusion of these microbiome features improved the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of machine learning classifiers for predicting AD status.

"Microbiome markers in stool might complement early screening measures for preclinical AD and generate encouraging hypotheses about potential roles of the gut in AD progression," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Abstract/Full Text

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