Relationship between dementia and gut microbiome-associated metabolites: a cross-sectional study in Japan

Naoki Saji, Kenta Murotani, Takayoshi Hisada, Tadao Kunihiro, Tsuyoshi Tsuduki, Taiki Sugimoto, Ai Kimura, Shumpei Niida, Kenji Toba, Takashi Sakurai

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Dysregulation of the gut microbiome is associated with dementia. However, the relationship between microbiome-associated metabolites and dementia has yet to be identified. Outpatients visiting a memory clinic in Japan enrolled in this cross-sectional study; 107 subjects were eligible for the study, 25 of which had dementia. We collected demographics, activities of daily living, risk factors, cognitive function, and brain imaging data. The gut microbiome was assessed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Concentrations of faecal metabolite were measured. We used multivariable logistic regression analyses to identify whether metabolites were independently related to dementia. The concentrations of metabolites were significantly different between subjects with and those without dementia. Every 1 standard deviation increment in faecal ammonia concentration was associated with around a 1.6-fold risk for the presence of dementia. A higher faecal lactic acid concentration was related to a lower risk of dementia, by around 60%. A combination of higher faecal ammonia and lactic acid concentrations was indicative of the presence of dementia, and had a similar predictive value as traditional biomarkers of dementia. Thus, faecal ammonia and lactic acid are related to dementia, independently of the other risk factors for dementia and dysregulation of the gut microbiome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8088
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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