Other Gut microbiota and cognitive performance: A bidirectional two-sample Mendelian randomization (Mar 2024) "We provided compelling evidence that specific gut microbiotas play an important role in cognitive performance"

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023


  • A bidirectional two-sample MR analysis was performed to explore the causal effect between gut microbiota and cognitive performance.
  • IVW analysis showed that four gut microbiotas impaired cognitive performance.
  • Two families and six genera of gut microbiotas had protective effects on cognitive performance.
  • We provided compelling evidence that specific gut microbiotas play an important role in cognitive performance.



Previous studies have suggested a potential association between gut microbiota and neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the causal relationship between gut microbiota and cognitive performance remains uncertain.


A two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) study used SNPs linked to gut microbiota (n = 18,340) and cognitive performance (n = 257,841) from recent GWAS data. Inverse-variance weighted (IVW), MR Egger, weighted median, simple mode, and weighted mode were employed. Heterogeneity was assessed via Cochran's Q test for IVW. Results were shown with funnel plots. Outliers were detected through leave-one-out method. MR-PRESSO and MR-Egger intercept tests were conducted to address horizontal pleiotropy influence.


Limited to European populations, generic level, and potential confounding factors.


IVW analysis revealed detrimental effects on cognitive perfmance associated with the presence of genus Blautia (P = 0.013, 0.966[0.940–0.993]), Catenibacterium (P = 0.035, 0.977[0.956–0.998]), Oxalobacter (P = 0.043, 0.979[0.960–0.999]). Roseburia (P < 0.001, 0.935[0.906–0.965]), in particular, remained strongly negatively associated with cognitive performance after Bonferroni correction. Conversely, families including Bacteroidaceae (P = 0.043, 1.040[1.001–1.081]), Rikenellaceae (P = 0.047, 1.026[1.000–1.053]), along with genera including Paraprevotella (P = 0.044, 1.020[1.001–1.039]), Ruminococcus torques group (P = 0.016, 1.062[1.011–1.115]), Bacteroides (P = 0.043, 1.040[1.001–1.081]), Dialister (P = 0.027, 1.039[1.004–1.074]), Paraprevotella (P = 0.044, 1.020[1.001–1.039]) and Ruminococcaceae UCG003 (P = 0.007, 1.040[1.011–1.070]) had a protective effect on cognitive performance.


Our results suggest that interventions targeting specific gut microbiota may offer a promising avenue for improving cognitive function in diseased populations. The practical application of these findings has the potential to enhance cognitive performance, thereby improving overall quality of life.
Format correct?
  1. Yes
'Fluffanutter',....., can't say I've heard that term before:) A definition would be a welcome distraction.