More than 300 years ago, Antony van Leewenhoeck first described observing single-celled microorganisms, which he termed “animalcules,” examining his saliva under a microscope. Although the idea of the coexistence of microorganisms in our body is not new, we have only recently been able to investigate their ecological relationship to our body, with the development of high-throughput molecular techniques. The diverse microorganism communities residing in our guts are established and maintained by complex interactions among microorganisms and their host. Notably, their alteration has been implicated in influencing various diseases including neurological diseases. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia characterized by a progressive decline in memory and thinking severe enough to interfere with daily life. Despite the great progress in linking genetic risk factors with AD pathogenesis, treatments targeted at AD pathology and its modifiers have not yet resulted in a disease-modifying therapy. There is mounting evidence that the gut microbiota interacts with AD pathogenesis by disrupting neuroinflammation and metabolic homeostasis—the gut microbiota has gone from being the forgotten organ to a potential key player in the AD pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1241
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020


  • Amyloid
  • Bacteria
  • Microbiome
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Tau


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