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Probiotic Supplementation in Patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia - An Explorative Intervention Study

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 12 ]


Friedrich Leblhuber, Kostja Steiner, Burkhard Schuetz, Dietmar Fuchs* and Johanna M. Gostner   Pages 1106 - 1113 ( 8 )


Background: Dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota in the elderly can cause a leaky gut, which may result in silent systemic inflammation and promote neuroinflammation - a relevant pathomechanism in the early course of Alzheimer’s disease.

Objective: The rebalancing of the microbiome could benefically impact on gut inflammation and immune activation.

Methods: In this study, routine laboratory tests in twenty outpatients (9 females, 11 males, aged 76.7 ± 9.6 years) with Alzheimer’s disease were investigated. The mean Mini Mental State Examination score was 18.5 ± 7.7. Biomarkers of immune activation – serum neopterin and tryptophan breakdown - as well as gut inflammation markers and microbiota composition in fecal specimens were analyzed in 18 patients before and after probiotic supplementation for 4 weeks.

Results: After treatment a decline of fecal zonulin concentrations and an increase in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii compared to baseline were observed. At the same time, serum kynurenine concentrations increased (p <0.05). Delta values (before - after) of neopterin and the kynurenine to tryptophan ratios (Kyn/Trp) correlated significantly (p <0.05).

Conclusion: Results show that the supplementation of Alzheimer’s disease patients with a multispecies probiotic influences gut bacteria composition as well as tryptophan metabolism in serum. The correlation between Kyn/Trp and neopterin concentrations points to the activation of macrophages and/or dendritic cells. Further studies are warranted to dissect the potential consequences of Probiotic supplementation in the course of Alzheimer’s disease.


Gut microbiota, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, probiotics, neopterin, brain-gut axis, neuroinflammation, Alzheimer`s disease, dementia.


Department of Gerontology, Neuromed Campus, Kepler University Clinic, Linz, Department of Gerontology, Neuromed Campus, Kepler University Clinic, Linz, Biovis Diagnostik MVZ GmbH, Limburg, Division of Biological Chemistry, Biocenter, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Division of Medical Biochemistry, Biocenter, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck

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