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Disruptions of Gut Microbiota are Associated with Cognitive Deficit of Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study.

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most prevalent type of dementia. The early change of gut microbiota is a potential biomarker for preclinical AD patients.

OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to explore changes in gut microbiota characteristics in preclinical AD patients, including those with Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and detect the correlation between gut microbiota characteristics and cognitive performances.

METHODS: This study included 117 participants [33 MCI, 54 SCD, and 30 Healthy Controls (HC)]. We collected fresh fecal samples and blood samples from all participants and evaluated their cognitive performance. We analyzed the diversity and structure of gut microbiota in all participants through qPCR, screened characteristic microbial species through machine learning models, and explored the correlations between these species and cognitive performances and serum indicators.

RESULTS: Compared to the healthy controls, the structure of gut microbiota in MCI and SCD patients was significantly different. The three characteristic microorganisms, including Bacteroides ovatus, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, and Roseburia inulinivorans, were screened based on the best classification model (HC and MCI) having intergroup differences. Bifidobacterium adolescentis is associated with better performance in multiple cognitive scores and several serum indicators. Roseburia inulinivorans showed negative correlations with the scores of the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ).

CONCLUSION: The gut microbiota in patients with preclinical AD has significantly changed in terms of composition and richness. Correlations have been discovered between changes in characteristic species and cognitive performances. Gut microbiota alterations have shown promise in affecting AD pathology and cognitive deficit.

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