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PODCAST: Understanding the connection between the gut microbiome and Alzheimer’s

In a new Voices of UMass Chan podcast, physician-scientist John P. Haran, MD’07, PhD’18, and MD/PhD student Ethan Loew explain research on the connection between the gut microbiome and cognitive health, particularly how it impacts older people.  

"As adults get older, there is a predisposition to some illnesses that might not be as prevalent in younger populations. By understanding the role of the microbiome, we can understand how bacteria in the gut might be communicating to the body in a way that leads to ailments of aging,” said Loew.  

Dr. Haran, professor of emergency medicine and microbiology & physiological systems and clinical director of the Center for Microbiome Research at UMass Chan, and Loew are part of a multidisciplinary team of experts who are working to move beyond the simple associations and uncover the mechanisms through which the microbiome influences health. Haran and Loew are working toward practical applications, envisioning probiotic designs that can manipulate the microbiome to benefit cognitive health. They highlight ongoing research including a community cohort of older people with and without cognitive decline to examine changes in the microbiome over time and their correlation with health outcomes.  

For more information about the study, visit the Haran lab website. 

Listen to the full Voices of UMass Chan podcast here: Subscribe through SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts.