Julie Anderson: Could improved gut health help prevent Alzheimer's?
Cognitive decline is an all-too-familiar hallmark of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. While there is much research that focuses exclusively on functional changes in the brain, the so-called gut-brain axis - a connection between the digestive system and the central nervous system - also appears to play a pivotal role. It raises the question: Could nutritional interventions, to nurture the health of the gut microbiome, also help prevent or reverse age-related dementia? In 2018, Dr. Julie Andersen, a scientist at the Buck Institute for Research On Aging, in California, received a $3.8 million grant to explore the hypothesis. In this LLAMA podcast episode, Dr. Andersen discusses the work of her laboratory, and the idea that a gut metabolite, urolithin A, could play an important role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
- Working at the Buck Institute for Research On Aging - the only freestanding institute studying aging and age-related disease.
- A multi-disciplinary approach to aging research, embracing a range of diseases and mechanisms that drive-age related conditions.
- Evolving definitions of aging.
- Exploring autophagy, mitochondrial function, urolithin A and muscle health, in relation to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
- The science and logic behind restoring an older person's gut microbiome to that of a younger person.
- Building on "exciting" clinical trials, by Amazentis, looking at the efficacy, in older humans, of Urolithin A, to enhance muscle function.
- Exploring the relatively new area of study known as the gut-brain axis.
- Explaining the scientific process, grants and clinical trials.
- How preliminary preclinical trial data suggests urolithin fed to mice may prevent cognitive loss associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- Turning 60 and aspirations for a long healthspan.
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