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Dementia Risk Factors May Lie in the Gut

To assess an indi-vidual’s risk for dementia, practit-ioners can evaluate the makeup of bacteria and other microbes in the gut. According to results of a new study, there is a direct association between dementia risk and gut microbiota.
The study, authored by Naoki Saji, MD, and colleagues, was presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference on Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
By analyzing the fecal samples of 128 participants with and without dementia, the researchers discovered differences in the components of gut microbiota between the 2 groups.
Ammonia, indole, skatole, and phenol were found in greater numbers in the fecal matter of participants with dementia than in the fecal matter of those without dementia. However, levels of the normal, beneficial bacteroides were lower in participants with dementia.
“Although this is an observational study and we assessed a small number of the patients, the odds ratio is certainly high, suggesting that gut bacteria may be a target for the prevention of dementia,” said Saji, vice director of the Center for Comprehensive Care and Research on Memory Disorders, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan.

REFERENCE:
“Bugs” in the gut might predict dementia in the brain [press release]. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; January 30, 2019. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/bugs-in-the-gut-might-predict-dementia-in-the-brain. 
Accessed February 7, 2019.

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