Genetic link between Alzheimer’s Disease and gut disorders
24 Jul 2022
Gut disorders may indicate a greater risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, concludes research from Australia’s Edith Cowan University.
The research team from the ECU Centre for Precision Health, led by Dr Emmanuel Adewuyi, carried out what it believes to be the first large scale study to reveal a genetic connection between Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and a number of gut disorders. It examined sets of AD and gut disorder data, both comprising around 0.4million individuals.
Concluded the report: “Consistent with the concept of the gut-brain phenomenon, observational studies suggest a relationship between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and gastrointestinal tract (GIT) disorders.”
However, the authors added that the underlying mechanisms of the two elements remain unclear. In addition, despite an earlier study suggesting correlations between AD and Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), no significant correlation was identified in the ECU report itself.
The research authors stated this could be due to the small number of cases and sample size of the IBD genome-wide association studies available.
Nevertheless, said Adewuyi, the study could help boost understanding of the causes of AD and GIT disorders, paving the way for potential earlier treatments and detection.
Stated the research: “While AD has no known curative treatments, and its pathogenesis is yet to be clearly understood, a comprehensive assessment of its shared genetics with other diseases (comorbidities) can provide a deeper understanding of its underlying biological mechanisms and enhance potential therapy development efforts.”
Identified as the most common form of dementia, it is calculated that by 2050 Alzheimer’s Disease will affect some 152 million people – a number far exceeding the total current population of the world’s ninth most populous country, Russia.
Data from previous studies referenced in the ECU research had suggested more than twice the risk of dementia in people suffering from gastritis and a six-fold risk of AD among those suffering from IBD.