During my last CFS episode I had a SPECT scan done. The results matched that reported on PubMed for chronic lyme and for chronic fatigue syndrome. I was having severe memory issues, especially short term and recent events. The radiologist read the SPECT as indicative of Alzheimer’s Disease. The areas of the brain impacted were the same area seen with Alzheimer. With recovery, memory issues reduced every month. I suspect it could easily be 2 years before I hit the 99.9999% of my prior level. I suspect that my SPECT will be near normal if done again. Many people will not notice the memory issues remaining, but I frequently (daily) notice minor memory failures for example inability to recall a word or tie a name to a face.
Since the recovery of memory was a result of actively altering gut bacteria, it suggests that old age dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease may have a very significant cause being gut bacteria.
Looking at pub med, there are just two studies that have looked at AD and the microbiota, both published in 2013:
- Infectious particles, stress, and induced prion amyloids: A unifying perspective. “unrecognized microbial agents in the environmental metagenome that may cause latent neurodegenerative disease”
- Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria in the intestinal micro-flora may produce neurotoxins such as Beta-N-Methylamino-L-Alanine (BMAA) which may be related to development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson-Dementia-Complex in humans and Equine Motor Neuron Disease in horses. ” disease or malnutrition may alter the proper balance between pathogens and the normal bacterial micro-flora, enabling overgrowth of CB with production of neurotoxins such as BMAA, with subsequent development of neurodegenerative diseases, in both horses and men.”
Age-Related Memory Issues
There have been several studies on how gut bacteria changes with age:
- Role of the gut microbiota in age-related chronic inflammation. (2012) “A growing body of literature implicates age-related perturbations in the gut microbial ecology as contributing to a global inflammatory state in the elderly.”
- Enteric pathogens through life stages. (2012) – Full Text Free “Recent gut microbial surveys have indicated dramatic shifts in gut microbial population structure from infants to young adults to the elders.”
- Aging of the human metaorganism: the microbial counterpart. (2012) – Full Text Free (and an excellent article that details results from specific species of probiotics!)
“The total diversity of a healthy adult gut ecosystem is generally reported to be around 1,000–1,200 species.. of which 75–82% is estimated to remain uncultured.” This means that we likely have no idea of what 75% of the bacteria produce or interacts..
The question of testing often arises, the above article summarizes the current state of testing:
The prosequencing is what is needed. We have more unknowns than knowns…
I am hoping that there will be studies of Prescript Assist and Mutaflor on neurodegenerative diseases — I suspect that the results will be very interesting.