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Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Triggers Gut Dysbiosis, Neuroinflammation, Gut-Brain Axis Dysfunction, and Vulnerability for Dementia

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The non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder which is very common world wide. The human gut harbors microbiota which has a wide variety of microbial organisms; they are mainly symbiotic and important for well being. However, “dysbiosis” - i.e. an alteration in normal commensal gut microbiome with an increase in pathogenic microbes, impacts homeostasis/health. Dysbiosis in NCGS causes gut inflammation, diarrhea, constipation, visceral hypersensitivity, abdominal pain, dysfunctional metabolic state, and peripheral immune and neuro-immune communication. Thus, immune-mediated gut and extra-gut dysfunctions, due to gluten sensitivity with comorbid diarrhea, may last for decades. A significant proportion of NCGS patients may chronically consume alcohol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and fatty diet, as well as suffer from various comorbid disorders. The above pathophysiological substrate and dysbiosis are underpinned by dysfunctional bidirectional “Gut-Brain Axis” pathway. Pathogenic gut microbiota is known to upregulate gut- and systemic inflammation (due to lipopolysaccharide from pathogenic bacteria and synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines); they enhance energy harvest, cause obesity, insulin resistance, and dysfunctional vago-vagal gut-brain axis. Conceivably, the above cascade of pathology may promote various pathophysiological mechanisms, neuroinflammation, and cognitive dysfunction. Hence, dysbiosis, gut inflammation, and chronic dyshomeostasis are of great clinical relevance. It is argued here that we need to be aware of NCGS and its chronic pathophysiological impact. Therapeutic measures including probiotics, vagus nerve stimulation, antioxidants, alpha 7 nicotinic receptor agonists, and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 antagonist may ameliorate neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in NCGS; they may therefore, prevent cognitive dysfunction and vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease.
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Keywords: Axis; cytokines; dysbiosis; gut-brain; lipopolysaccharide; microbiota; neuroinflammation; non-celiac gluten sensitivity; oxidative-nitrosative stress; vagus nerve stimulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2015

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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