The role of inflammatory bowel disease in the development of Alzheimer disease

Dr. Jordan Hamden
University of British Columbia
Project Title: The role of inflammatory bowel disease in the development of Alzheimer disease.
Co-funding Partner: Michael Smith Health Research BC
Grant Name: 2022 BC Trainee Award, jointly funded by MS Health Research & CLEAR
Grant Duration: 2022-2025 (three years)
Research Lay Summary:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will affect 1% of Canadians in the next 10 years and there is no cure for this illness. IBD causes microbiome and endocrine dysregulation, chronic immune systemic activation and inflammation, and increases the risk of dementia.

People with IBD are six times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and on average 7 years sooner than people without IBD. However, the exact mechanisms that drive the development of AD and other dementias are unknown. Current models of IBD focus on adult onset IBD, but 25% of patients are diagnosed during adolescence with symptoms that persist through adulthood. Additionally, models of adult onset IBD miss a critical period of immune and nervous system development in early life.

In this project, we will create a life-long mouse model of human IBD using germ-free mice. We will then use our model to study the mechanisms that may cause IBD to lead to an increased risk of developing AD. The goal of our research is to determine areas of opportunity for pharmacological or microbial intervention to decrease IBD symptoms and the risk of AD.

Imagine a world without Alzheimer disease.