The fecal microbiome of ALS patients.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative motor neuron disease accompanied by both systemic and central nervous system-specific inflammation as well as deregulated energy metabolism. These potential pathogenetic factors have recently been found to mutually interact with the gut microbiota, raising the hypothesis of a link between microbiome alterations and ALS pathogenesis. The aim of our study was to assess whether ALS is associated with an altered composition of the fecal microbiota. We compared the fecal microbiota of 25 ALS patients with 32 age- and gender-matched healthy persons using 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. Confounding factors and secondary disease effects on the microbiome were minimized by selection of patients without dysphagia, gastrostomy, noninvasive ventilation, or reduced body mass index. Comparing the 2 carefully matched groups, the diversity and the abundance of the bacterial taxa on the different taxonomic levels as well as PICRUSt-predicted metagenomes were almost indistinguishable. Significant differences between ALS patients and healthy controls were only observed with regard to the overall number of microbial species (operational taxonomic units) and in the abundance of uncultured Ruminococcaceae. Conclusively, ALS patients do not exhibit a substantial alteration of the gut microbiota composition.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.09.023

Cite this paper

@article{Brenner2017TheFM, title={The fecal microbiome of ALS patients.}, author={David Brenner and Andreas Hiergeist and Carolin Adis and Benjamin Mayer and Andr{\'e} Gessner and Albert Christian Ludolph and Jochen Hans Weishaupt}, journal={Neurobiology of aging}, year={2017}, volume={61}, pages={132-137} }