AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 1, 2020

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Gut Microbes May Improve Stroke Recovery

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New research shows that the microorganisms in our gut could help protect brain cells from damage caused by inflammation after a stroke.

The study, published by researchers from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, reveals that supplementing the body’s short chain fatty acids could improve stroke recovery.

Short chain fatty acids, which are produced by the community of bacteria that live in the gut – known collectively as the microbiome – are a key component of gut health. Although it is known that the microbiome can also influence brain health and the central nervous system, its role in stroke recovery has not yet been explored.

“There is a growing amount of evidence that inflammation can be influenced by the microbiome, and now we are learning how it affects neuroinflammation after brain injury,” says Ann Stowe, UK associate professor in the Department of Neurology and co-author of the study.

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