FMT Effect of altered gene expression in lipid metabolism on cognitive improvement in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia following fecal microbiota transplantation: a preliminary study (Jan 2024, n=5) "Significant improvements in cognitive function were seen"

Fecal Microbiota Transplants

Michael Harrop

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https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/17562864231218181

Abstract​

Background:​

The brain–gut axis has emerged as a potential target in neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia, as individuals with dementia exhibit distinct gut microbiota compositions. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), the transfer of fecal solution from a healthy donor to a patient, has shown promise in restoring homeostasis and cognitive enhancement.

Objective:​

This study aimed to explore the effects of FMT on specific cognitive performance measures in Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) patients and investigate the relationship between cognition and the gut microbiota by evaluating changes in gene expression following FMT.

Methods:​

Five AD patients underwent FMT, and their cognitive function [Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB)] was assessed before and after FMT. The patients’ fecal samples were analyzed with 16S rRNA to compare the composition of their gut microbiota. We also assessed modifications in the serum mRNA expression of patients’ genes related to lipid metabolism using serum RNA sequencing and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results:​

Significant improvements in cognitive function, as measured by the MMSE (pre- and post-FMT was 13.00 and 18.00) and MoCA were seen. The MoCA scores at 3 months post-FMT (21.0) were the highest (12.0). The CDR-SOB scores at pre- and post-FMT were 10.00 and 5.50, respectively. Analysis of the gut microbiome composition revealed changes via 16S rRNA sequencing with an increase in Bacteroidaceae and a decrease in Enterococcaceae. Gene expression analysis identified alterations in lipid metabolism-related genes after FMT.

Conclusion:​

These findings suggest a link between alterations in the gut microbiome, gene expression related to lipid metabolism, and cognitive function. The study highlights the importance of gut microbiota in cognitive function and provides insights into potential biomarkers for cognitive decline progression. FMT could complement existing therapies and show potential as a therapeutic intervention to mitigate cognitive decline in AD.
 
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