A new study will assess the gut health of individuals with Alzheimer's disease to understand if diet has a role to play in managing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of the condition.
The novel study, conducted by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, plans to recruit participants from local care homes. Faecal samples will be collected from 3 groups: individuals with dementia and challenging behaviour; individuals with dementia without challenging behaviour; and individuals without dementia (control group). Researchers will analyse the samples to determine if there are remarkable differences in the gut diversity of the 3 groups.
It is important to have a diverse and balanced gut microbiota population to boost the immune system and aid digestion. Increasing evidence suggests that gut microbiota could be a crucial link between particular nutrients and brain function.
Although a 2-way communication is known to exist between the gut microbiome and the brain, the relationship needs a greater understanding. "The goal for us is to identify whether changes in diet can affect the clinical symptoms associated with dementia," said Professor Alex Johnstone from the University of Aberdeen.