Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019

A gut bacterium in mice can help fight a similar disease as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

To reduce the ALS symptoms, a friendly gut bacterium might be helpful, a study of mice suggests.

It was reported by researchers on 22nd July that mice which develop a degenerative nerve disease pretty much having the same symptoms as Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), showed better results when bacteria making vitamin B3 were found in their intestines. Those results propose that gut microbes might make molecules which can slow the progression of the deadly disease.

A microbiome researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Eran Elinav stated that the researchers revealed clues that the results of the mice study might also be important for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, the results are too preliminary to notify any changes in treating the disease, which at any given time affects around 2 out of every 100,000 people, or around 16 thousand people in the US.

He said that with respect to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the jury is still out. We have to give a piece of evidence that what we found in mice can be also found in humans.

Elinav along with his colleagues scrutinized the gut microbiomes, which are bacteria, archaea & other microbes living large intestine i.e. colon of mice which produce great amounts of a mutated form of the SOD1 protein. In the mice, as in human Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, defective SOD1 proteins clump together & result in the death of nerve cells.

Microbiomes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice contained almost none Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria. Restoring A. muciniphila bacteria in the ALS mice reduced the speed of progression of the disease, and the mice lived comparatively longer than the untreated ones. On the contrary, greater numbers of 2 other normal gut bacteria, Parabacteroides distasonis, and Ruminococcus torques were associated with more severe symptoms.