Gastrointestinal mucus may play a major role in the development of new treatments for neurological disorders

The findings were published online in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

2 min read

Changes in gut mucus may lead to a bacterial imbalance, worsening symptoms associated with neurological diseases, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at RMIT University, over 100 studies of the gut, microbiology and neurology, led to their conclusion of bacterial imbalance, a trait correlated with disorders in the brain like neurodegeneration and autism. The findings were published online in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

“Mucus is integral to gut health and its properties may be affected in neurological disease,” the findings state. “We propose that factors that influence the nervous system may also affect the volume, viscosity, porosity of mucus composition and subsequently, gastrointestinal (GI) microbial populations.”

Researchers note that gut disorders are prevalent among patients with other coexisting conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. And in the findings, researchers at RMIT found that multiple pathways associated with mucus homeostasis might be affected by nervous system impairments in neurological disorders.

Among patients with certain neurological conditions, distinct forms of bacteria may be evident in the gut mucus in comparison to healthy people, the study affirmed.

The findings also determined that “altered mucus properties could contribute to the widespread observations of microbial dysbiosis in autism, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and multiple sclerosis, and potentially exacerbate core symptoms.”

“This review highlights that mucus properties could be impaired in neurological disease and provides new avenues for clinically relevant research into GI dysfunction in these disorders,” the findings concluded.

© Image courtesy of Shutterstock