Gut Microbiome Changes Linked to Early Alzheimer’s Disease

Study Reveals Gut Microbiome Changes Linked to Early Alzheimer’s Disease

June 2023

A recent study examining the gut microbiome with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has uncovered significant insights into the relationship between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s Disease. The study, conducted by researchers, and published in the Science Translational Medicine journal, investigated the gut microbial composition and function of 164 cognitively normal individuals, 49 of whom showed biomarker evidence of early Alzheimer’s Disease.

The findings of the study demonstrated distinct differences in the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiome – a term that refers to the billions of bacteria and other microbes that dwell in the gut in individuals-  between individuals with preclinical AD and those without evidence of the disease.

Notably, the research team identified a specific bacterial family -called taxa- that was strongly associated with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. These findings open up new possibilities for the development of gut-derived markers that could help identify individuals at risk for AD. The development of such tests or treatments would be years away, experts said.

The study’s findings emphasize the potential role of the gut microbiome in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease progression, shedding light on the complex interplay between the gut and the brain. Furthermore, the inclusion of microbiome features in machine learning classifiers improved the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in predicting preclinical AD status.

This groundbreaking research holds promise for enhancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease etiology and may contribute to the development of innovative strategies for early detection and intervention. By identifying gut microbial changes associated with preclinical AD neuropathology, this study brings us closer to potential breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment. In the future, it might be possible to use a stool test to identify people at increased risk of the disease.

Further research is warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms and explore the therapeutic potential of targeting the gut microbiome in AD. These findings offer hope for a future where early detection and intervention can significantly impact the lives of individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.


Aura L. Ferreiro et al. ,Gut microbiome composition may be an indicator of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.Sci. Transl. Med.15,eabo2984(2023).DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.abo2984