Gut Bacteria Linked To Brain Blood Vessel Abnormality

The study found that the CA group had more gram-negative gut bacteria, whereas the control group had more gram-positive gut bacteria.

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The walls of the blood vessels need to be strong and springy to handle the pressure needed to pump blood from the heart through the body.

But in a condition called cavernous angioma (CA), bundles of brittle, fragile blood vessels form in the brain, spinal cord, or both.

Blood can stagnate in these fragile bundles, also called cerebral cavernous malformations, and leak into the brain.

This can lead to headaches, seizures, or brain hemorrhages.

Medications can lessen these symptoms, but the primary treatment for CA is surgical removal.

New study further supports emerging research on the significance of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, which is the relationship between bacteria in the gut and how the brain functions.

Cavernous angiomas

According to one article, CA are a type of abnormal blood vessel in a person’s brain. Estimates show that 0.5% of the population has them. Of these, 40% become symptomatic, sometimes due to the vessel hemorrhaging.

Symptoms can include headaches, visual disturbances, seizures, or stroke.

Doctors can monitor CA with frequent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Some people may require surgery.

Scientists know that CA have a genetic component, so a person may inherit certain gene variants that make developing CA more likely.

However, previous research on mice has shown that the gut microbiome may also affect CA.

The microbiome is the collective genome of approximately 100 trillion micro-organisms, primarily bacteria, that live in a person’s gut.

The authors of the present study, which is available in nature communications, wanted to determine what type of bacteria people with CA have, and whether different types of CA correlated to different gut microbiomes.

Advanced genomic analysis

To do this research, the authors of the present study conducted an advanced genomic analysis of the stool samples of 122 people with at least one identified CA.

They compared these samples to a control group matched for age and sex who did not have any CA.

The study found that the CA group had more gram-negative gut bacteria, whereas the control group had more gram-positive gut bacteria.

Further, the study found that particular types of gut bacteria were more prevalent in people with CA, even after they had accounted for possible confounding factors, such as sex, geographic location, or genetics.

The study also identified that the gut bacteria in the people with CA also produced more lipopolysaccharide molecules. The authors noted a link with the production of CA in mice.

As well as indicating a link between types of bacteria and the presence of CA, the study also demonstrated that the composition of some gut bacteria could help identify how aggressive CA might be.

Finally, the study made clear that analyzing the particular type of microbiomes in combination with blood plasma could help clinicians determine the severity of a person’s brain disorder.

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