HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessYou Really Shouldn't Ignore Your Gut Disorder, New Study Warns

You Really Shouldn’t Ignore Your Gut Disorder, New Study Warns

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be more likely to develop in people with gastrointestinal problems.

It has been validated by a world-first Edith Cowan University (ECU) study, which could lead to early detection and innovative therapies.

The most common type of dementia, AD erases memory and cognitive function.

By 2030, it’s predicted to affect more than 82 million people, cost US$2 trillion, and have no known cures.

Up until now, it has been unclear what underlies the correlations between AD and gastrointestinal issues found in previous observational research.

Now, the Center for Precision Health at ECU has confirmed that there is a genetic link between Alzheimer’s disease and several gastrointestinal diseases.

Large genetic data sets from studies on AD and several gut disorders, each involving roughly 400,000 people, were analyzed for the study.

The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Emmanuel Adewuyi, said it was the first thorough analysis of the genetic link between AD and several gut problems.

The team found that people with AD and gut diseases share genes, which is significant for a variety of reasons.

The findings of the research, according to Dr. Adewuyi, find “a novel insight into the genetics behind the observed co-occurrence of AD and gut disorders.”

It also identifies new targets to research in order to perhaps detect the disease sooner and create novel treatments for both sorts of disorders.

Although the study did not find that gastrointestinal issues cause AD or vice versa, director of the Centre for Precision Health and study supervisor Professor Simon Laws stated the findings are extremely valuable.

“These findings provide further evidence to support the concept of the ‘gut-brain’ axis,” added Professor Laws, “a two-way link between the brain’s cognitive and emotional centres, and the functioning of the intestines.”

Cholesterol: crucial?

Other crucial ties between AD and gut diseases were discovered when researchers dug deeper into the shared DNA. One of these links is the function cholesterol may play.

Dr. Adewuyi said that studies have shown that high cholesterol is a risk factor for both AD and gut disorders.

According to him, lipids metabolism, the immune system, and drugs that decrease cholesterol all play important roles in the genetic and biochemical traits shared by AD and these gastrointestinal illnesses.

There is evidence that excessive cholesterol can affect the central nervous system and cause aberrant cholesterol metabolism in the brain. However, further research is needed to determine the shared processes between the disorders.

“There is also evidence suggesting abnormal blood lipids may be caused or made worse by gut bacteria (H.pylori), all of which support the potential roles of abnormal lipids in AD and gut disorders.

“For example, elevated cholesterol in the brain has been linked to brain degeneration and subsequent cognitive impairment.”

Future optimism

The connection between cholesterol and AD may be crucial for future treatment.

Despite the fact that there are no known cures, the study’s results indicate that statins, which lower cholesterol, may be therapeutically useful in treating both AD and gastrointestinal diseases.

Statins may help reduce inflammation, modify immunity, and protect the gut, according to evidence, said Dr. Adewuyi.

To determine whether a patient might benefit from taking statins, he claimed that additional research was required and that each patient must be evaluated separately.

Additionally, nutrition may be important in the management and prevention of AD and gastrointestinal issues, according to the research.

Image Credit: Getty

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