The results of this study suggest an altered gut microbiome in people with Huntington’s disease and highlight the potential role of gut dysbiosis in the progression of this disease, as a biomarker of the disease and a target for future therapeutic interventions.
Why this matters
The brain effects of Huntington’s disease have been extensively investigated; however, the peripheral pathology of this condition has not been well explored.
Huntington’s disease can also cause gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances, which could be due to a dysfunction of the GI tract but may also be indirectly caused by other progressive features of the disease.
Increasing evidence suggests that the so-called gut-brain axis, described as the relationship between the enteric nervous system, the gut microbiome and the brain, is linked to neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric diseases, with the most evidence of gut dysbiosis currently existing in Parkinson’s disease.