Many researchers believe that genes, environment, and time each contribute to the onset of late-life neurodegenerative disease like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Epidemiological studies have shown correlations between environmental chemical exposure and neurodegeneration, but no direct relationships have been established. Conversely, there may be environmental factors that suppress or delay neurodegeneration outcomes. The human body is the natural habitat for many microbes, including hundreds of bacterial species referred to as the microbiota.
Our aging population is burdened by decreased health and an increased risk of disease, including for many age-dependent neurodegenerative disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There are no cures for these conditions, and according to the United Nations the number of people affected may double by 2040. Using simple genetic models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis we have discovered a probiotic bacteria that delays disease onset, and this may be a new therapeutic approach for patients.