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Bowel disease doubles risk of dementia

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It’s further evidence that many diseases of the central nervous system and brain begin in the gut, and are determined by our gut bacteria, say researchers from Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan.

They tracked the cognitive health of 1742 IBD patients for 16 years and compared them to a similar group of 17,420 people who didn’t have the problem. During that time, 5.5 percent in the IBD group developed dementia or Alzheimer’s disease compared with 1.5 percent in the healthy group.

Dementia was also diagnosed seven years earlier in the IBD group, the researchers say, and the risk was greater among those who had IBD the longest.

Although the study doesn’t prove a direct cause-and-effect connection, there is certainly an association between poor gut health and our cognitive abilities, the researchers say.

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(Source: Gut, 2020; gutjnl-2020-320789; doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-320789)

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