It has been shown that intestinal microbes, collectively termed the gut microbiome, may affect the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
As reported in Nature by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, progression of an ALS-like disease was slowed after animal subjects received certain strains of gut microbes or substances known to be secreted by these microbes. Preliminary results suggest that the findings on the regulatory function of the microbiome may be applicable to human patients with ALS.
"Our long-standing scientific and medical goal is to elucidate the impact of the microbiome on human health and disease, with the brain being a fascinating new frontier," says Eran Elinav, professor in the Department of Immunology. His team performed the study together with that of Eran Segal, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
The scientists demonstrated in a series of experiments that the symptoms of an ALS-like...