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AAIC 2023 | Gut microbiome composition and cognitive function in middle-aged adults

Jazmyn A Muhammad, BS, Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, shares her work looking at the association between cognitive scores and gut microbiome structure in middle-aged adults. Participants of the Framingham Heart Study with no history of stroke or dementia were studied. Gut microbiome composition was quantified using 16S rRNA sequencing and global cognitive scores were calculated based on neuropsychological assessments of executive function, processing speed, language, and memory. The results from over 1000 participants demonstrated an association between cognition and the abundance of several genera, including Pseudobutyrivibrio and Alistipes, which were found to be more abundant in the poor cognition group (first quintile of cognitive scores). An increased abundance of E. bolteae was also noted in the poor cognition group. Additionally, the analysis showed an increase in trimethylamine producing bacteria to be associated with poorer cognition. These species have been previously linked to cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity through the production of detrimental metabolites. These data demonstrate the intimate relationship between cognitive function and gut homeostasis and evidence the need for further investigation into potential driving or mediating factors. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC) 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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