The Intestines and Dementia Relationship

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Dementia is a condition that is one of the leading causes of significant long-term impairment and mortality. The American Heart Association claims that stroke patients are more likely to experience depression, which has a detrimental effect on functional and cognitive rehabilitation.

The only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug for the treatment of stroke, a type of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, should be given within a certain time frame after stroke onset and has had limited success.

Researchers at Texas A&M University School of Medicine are leading research on the relationship between stroke-induced intestinal permeability or leakage and cognitive impairment to improve stroke outcomes.

Texas A&M researchers examined the cutting-edge hypothesis that intestinal epithelial stem cells (IESCs) from healthy donors could be used to rebuild the intestinal barrier after stroke and improve the prognosis of stroke survivors.

According to the findings of the preclinical study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, IESC implantation reduced mortality from stroke, reduced dead tissue volume and intestinal leakage, and prevented stroke-induced cognitive impairment.

According to recent research, two-thirds of stroke patients will experience cognitive impairment, and one-third of stroke patients will eventually develop dementia. In conclusion, there is an urgent need for more effective stroke treatments that preserve cognitive function after acute stroke and continue to be protective over the following weeks.

Although most research on traditional stroke treatments focuses on the brain, the gut responds quickly and early to stroke, and these changes may precede many of the inflammatory events associated with stroke-related disease. Products produced in the gut may enter the blood stream as a result of these changes in the gut, such as increased permeability.

Because many of these chemicals are dangerous, they have the potential to worsen the brain damage caused by strokes by causing more inflammation.

According to evidence from numerous studies, IESCs improve gut and reduce gut permeability. These recovery procedures may be necessary to maintain cognitive function after stroke.

According to Farida Sohrabji, Regents Professor, chair of the department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics and senior author of the paper, “it is clear that the gut-brain axis is associated with post-stroke damage.”

“Considering the effects of post-stroke gut health on the brain could enable us to more effectively advance stroke therapeutics.”

With this in mind, Sohrabji and group transplanted primary IESCs from healthy donors after stroke in a preclinical model. IESCs from young donors restored the gut's structural integrity and reduced gut permeability, which lowered blood levels of proteins and other molecules that are toxic to brain cells.

In the weeks after stroke, IESC transplant also stopped cognitive decline and depressive-like behaviors. Effective transplantation has been shown to depend on donor age because IESC transplantation from older donors did not improve stroke outcomes.

This research, which is still in the preclinical stage, highlights the importance of early therapeutic intervention after stroke and will lead to future directions of the study.

Future research will examine how to optimize the timing and dosage of treatment, according to Sohrabji. A comprehensive analysis of aging stem cells will also be vital to understanding why older patients suffer more severe strokes.

Kathiresh Kumar Mani, associate research scientist in Sohrabji's group, led this preclinical study, a neuroscientist who has made significant contributions to the stroke pathogenesis literature.

Trained in gut biology, Mani was awarded an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship to fund this effort. Combining his dual skills, he was able to advance the field of stroke therapy research and produce intriguing findings.

The WoodNext Foundation also gave them a large grant supporting their creative research.

But the idea that intestinal stem cells could be valuable therapeutically outside of the gut could be considered for a much broader range of neurological diseases, Sohrabji said. “Ultimately, this research is expected to advance the development of new therapies that target and repair the intestinal epithelium to help reduce stroke disability,” he added.

source: neurosciencenews

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