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Open Access Probiotic Supplementation in Patients with Alzheimer's Dementia - An Explorative Intervention Study

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Background: Dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota in the elderly can cause a leaky gut, which may result in silent systemic inflammation and promote neuroinflammation - a relevant pathomechanism in the early course of Alzheimer's disease.

Objective: The rebalancing of the microbiome could benefically impact on gut inflammation and immune activation.

Methods: In this study, routine laboratory tests in twenty outpatients (9 females, 11 males, aged 76.7 ± 9.6 years) with Alzheimer's disease were investigated. The mean Mini Mental State Examination score was 18.5 ± 7.7. Biomarkers of immune activation – serum neopterin and tryptophan breakdown - as well as gut inflammation markers and microbiota composition in fecal specimens were analyzed in 18 patients before and after probiotic supplementation for 4 weeks.

Results: After treatment a decline of fecal zonulin concentrations and an increase in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii compared to baseline were observed. At the same time, serum kynurenine concentrations increased (p <0.05). Delta values (before - after) of neopterin and the kynurenine to tryptophan ratios (Kyn/Trp) correlated significantly (p <0.05).

Conclusion: Results show that the supplementation of Alzheimer's disease patients with a multispecies probiotic influences gut bacteria composition as well as tryptophan metabolism in serum. The correlation between Kyn/Trp and neopterin concentrations points to the activation of macrophages and/or dendritic cells. Further studies are warranted to dissect the potential consequences of Probiotic supplementation in the course of Alzheimer's disease.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Faecalibacterium prausnitzii; Gut microbiota; brain-gut axis; dementia; neopterin; neuroinflammation; probiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

This article was made available online on August 27, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Probiotic Supplementation in Patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia – An Explorative Intervention Study".

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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