What is the microbiome?
Living within each one of us are many communities of microorganisms (or microbes). While some microbes can coexist within our bodies without causing harm, or indeed promote health, others are responsible for causing disease. Microorganisms, just like humans and other organisms, contain DNA. The collective term for DNA belonging to the microorganisms which live within us is called the “microbiome”.
Why is the microbiome important?
The microbiome plays an important role in maintaining the health of the person that they reside within, the host. They can play an important role in the development and maintenance of the immune system, regulation of the metabolism through the production of short chain fatty acids. Additionally, the microbiome has known roles in the gut brain axis as well as providing resistance to inflammation, infection and disease causing -pathogenic microorganisms.
There is an abundance of research demonstrating the interplay of the microbiome and diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and liver disease however, there still a massive gap in our understanding of what a “normal” and “healthy” microbiome looks like and what the microbiome looks like for people who are living with dementia.
What do we hope to do with the results?
When we understand what the microbiome looks like in health and also in dementia, we can determine what the difference is between both and develop therapeutics to replenish or replicate the healthy microbiome in people with dementia. With future work, we hope to test these therapeutics in a clinical trial.
How you can help
To make this study a success, we are seeking participants for several groups. These include.
- Senior and very senior adults with a clinical diagnosis of dementia (age 65 plus)
We are inviting anyone with a diagnosis of dementia, to take part. This includes all types of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia.
You may be eligible to participate in this study if you:
- Can provide a stool, blood, urine and oral swab samples
- Can have some clinical measures taken e.g. height, weight and blood pressure
- Can complete a survey about your diet, mood, and lifestyle
- Can complete a computer-based ‘brain-game’ cognition test (optional)
- Have not had antibiotics in the last 3 months (although please contact us if you have but would still like to take part)
- Have not had major gastrointestinal surgery such as bowel resection or bariatric surgery
How to participate
To take part in the study call the study team on 02 9348 0691 or email firstname.lastname@example.org