It’s long been suspected that Alzheimer’s and the gut could have a particular connection, but until this research, the relationship between AD and gut disorders has been misunderstood.
To dig in to this suspected link, researchers from Edith Cowan University in Australia analyzed genetic data from existing research on Alzheimer’s and gut disorders, completing a large scale analysis of over 400,000 people.
Their findings suggest that people with gut disorders may be at a greater risk of developing AD, and further, that people with AD and gut disorders appear to share certain genes. The five specific gut disorders linked with Alzheimer’s were gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease (PUD), gastritis-duodenitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diverticulosis.
As lead researcher Emmanuel Adewuyi Ph.D. explains in a news release, “The study provides a novel insight into the genetics behind the observed co-occurrence of AD and gut disorders,” adding, “This improves our understanding of the causes of these conditions and identifies new targets to investigate to potentially detect the disease earlier and develop new treatments for both types of conditions.”