The Ageing Gut-Brain Study: Exploring the role of the gut microbiota in dementia

Alexandra M. Johnstone* (Corresponding Author), Alison I. C. Donaldson, Karen P. Scott, Phyo K. Myint

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Up to 90% of people with dementia will experience behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) as part of their illness, and nearly two‐thirds of those living with dementia in care homes will experience BPSD. BPSD describe the disturbed perceptions, thought content, moods or behaviours that frequently occur in patients with dementia. There is increasing evidence that the gut microbiota plays a role in the interaction between specific nutrients and brain function. The Ageing Gut–Brain study described here is based on the hypothesis that the gut microbiota, and microbial metabolites, impact upon the gut–brain axis and thereby on behaviour, including BPSD. In the absence of available cures for Alzheimer's disease and its symptoms, if evidence in support of the gut–brain axis hypothesis is found, diet/nutritional interventions comprising important modifiable component/s may have significant impact on the management of BPSD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Issue number2
Early online date25 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Alex Johnstone, Alison Donaldson, Karen Scott and Phyo Myint all contributed equally to the writing and preparation of the manuscript. This study is funded by Tenovus Scotland Research Project No. G16‐08 (start 1 June 2017, end date 31 January 2019) and NHS‐Grampian Research and Development Endowment Research Grants Project No: 16/11/043 (start date 1 April 2017, end date 31 January, 2019) and the Scottish government as part of the Strategic Research Programme at the Rowett Institute (start date 1 April 2016–31 March 2021).


  • dementia
  • diet
  • gut
  • microbiota
  • brain
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Alzheimer's disease


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