Harnessing the microbiome to improve stroke recovery

Harnessing the microbiome to improve stroke recovery
Post-stroke neuronal plasticity is altered by short-chain fatty acid treatment. Credit: Sadler et al., JNeurosci 2019

Supplementing the body's short chain fatty acids can improve stroke recovery, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci. Short chain fatty acid supplementation may be a non-invasive addition to stroke rehabilitation therapies.

The gut microbiome influences brain health, including how the brain recovers from stroke. Short chain fatty acids, a fermentation product from the bacteria in our guts, are a key component of gut health but their role in has not been explored.

Sadler et al. added short chain fatty acids to the drinking water of mice for four weeks before inducing a stroke. The mice that drank the fatty acid water experienced a better stroke recovery compared to the control mice, including reduced motor impairment and increased spine growth on dendrites—a crucial memory structure. Additionally, the fatty acid-supplemented mice expressed more genes related to microglia, the brain's immune cells. Microglia activity could be responsible for increasing and improving stroke outcome. This relationship indicates short chain may serve as messengers in the gut-brain connection by influencing how the brain responds to injury.


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More information: Rebecca Sadler et al, Short-chain fatty acids improve post-stroke recovery via immunological mechanisms, The Journal of Neuroscience (2019). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1359-19.2019
Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience

Citation: Harnessing the microbiome to improve stroke recovery (2020, January 2) retrieved 29 May 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-01-harnessing-microbiome-recovery.html
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