In August 2012 stools gained the front cover of The Economist. The issue
hosted a long article on the newly discovered relationships between
stool bacteria (the gut microbiota – GMB) and the human host. The GMB
has recently been reconceptualised as yet another body organ, with an
intense cross-talk with a number of other organs, including the brain.
The mediators of the gut-brain cross-talk are circulating mediators,
neural circuits and the immune-inflammatory system. Evidence is
mounting that the GMB can affect normal human behavior and some
psychiatric diseases such as autism. A pivotal role of the native GMB
has been demonstrated in mouse models of multiple sclerosis and brain
amyloidosis. A role of the GMB in Alzheimer’s disease would account
for so far unexplained findings such as the presence of circulating
biomarkers and the protective effect of certain dietary regimens.
To inform physicians and scientists of the relevance and opportunities brought about by recent evidence on the role of the GMB in human brain diseases.
To promote the birth of a network of Swiss scientists to study the effect of the GMB in Alzheimer’s disease.