The Potential Role of Gut Microbiota in Alzheimer’s Disease: from Diagnosis to Treatment

Angelica Varesi, Elisa Pierella, Marcello Romeo, Gaia Bavestrello Piccini, Claudia Alfano, Geir Bjørklund, Abigail Oppong, Giovanni Ricevuti, Ciro Esposito, Salvatore Chirumbolo, Alessia Pascale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Gut microbiota is emerging as a key regulator of many disease conditions and its dysregulation is implicated in the pathogenesis of several gastrointestinal and extraintestinal disorders. More recently, gut microbiome alterations have been linked to neurodegeneration through the increasingly defined gut microbiota brain axis, opening the possibility for new microbiota-based therapeutic options. Although several studies have been conducted to unravel the possible relationship between Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) pathogenesis and progression, the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of approaches aiming at restoring gut microbiota eubiosis remain to be fully addressed. In this narrative review, we briefly summarize the role of gut microbiota homeostasis in brain health and disease, and we present evidence for its dysregulation in AD patients. Based on these observations, we then discuss how dysbiosis might be exploited as a new diagnostic tool in early and advanced disease stages, and we examine the potential of prebiotics, probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, and diets as complementary therapeutic interventions on disease pathogenesis and progression, thus offering new insights into the diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and progressive disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number668
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Biomarker
  • Diet
  • Dysbiosis
  • Fecal microbiota transplantation
  • Gut microbiota
  • Gut–brain axis
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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