Wait a minute! What in the world is a poop transplant? Believe it or not, there’s a thing called a fecal transplant: a doctor harvests the poop of a healthy person and infuses it into the colon of someone who is ill. It’s not really the feces that they’re after. Lots of bacteria are hiding inside the poop and they are the gold for which the doctors are mining. About 40 trillion bacteria are living inside your body right now. Most of them reside in your gut and don’t cause any health problems. Besides all those little bugs, you are composed of roughly 30 trillion human cells. Based on widely accepted democratic principles, if each cell in your body were given a vote, a bacteria would be elected president in a landslide.
I'm unsure about the implications of this post, interesting as it is. If I've read correctly, the mix of gut microbes in the test population correlated with the presence or absence of Alzheimer's symptoms (or, perhaps, plaques, if lumbar punctures were involved), and the gut microbes of AD patients generated AD symptoms in rats. So there's reason to link correlation to causation in one direction.
But to be medically significant (as opposed to biologically interesting), wouldn't the question be whether the gut microbes of non-AD patients could ameliorate or arrest those induced AD symptoms in rats--causation in the other direction? After all, there's no interest (or surprise) in learning that a fecal transplant from a C. difficile patient generates C difficile in rats; the interest is in learning that a fecal transplant can arrest and reverse C difficile bacterial growth (first in test rats and then in hospitalized humans) because that growth was originally caused by an abnormal absence of dominant strains that the introduction of normal fecal material reverses--that's the direction of causation that is medically significant.
So my thought is to wonder whether there is now follow-up research on the effect of fecal-normal transplants on induced-AD rats.
Something for sure to be aware of in our very gut! We sure could learn more of the brain/gut connection. Our dogs have been known to practice this as well. . .🙄! Thanks Marc!
Great article. Love the wit. I'm sending it to a friend with early stage Alzheimer's. Thanks