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experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), gut microbiome, multiple sclerosis, neurology practice



  1. Newland, Pamela K.
  2. Heitkemper, Margaret
  3. Zhou, Yanjiao


ABSTRACT: Background: Approximately 2.3 million people worldwide are currently living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The pathophysiologic mechanism of MS is not well known. It has been suggested that alterations in the normal gut flora may contribute to MS etiology and symptoms. Objective: The aims of this review are to describe the data suggesting a role for the gut microbiome in MS research and address its implications for practice. Methods: A literature search of the following databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane library database, MEDLINE, Scopus, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences) was conducted to find published studies relevant to gut microbiome in patients with MS. Study Selection: Five articles met the inclusion criteria of research studies of human gut microbiome in adults in English language and those receiving disease-modifying medications. Exclusion criteria were case reports and reviews. Results: Human studies found that the gut microbiome was different among patients with MS, patients with MS who were treated with glatiramer acetate, and healthy controls. Discussion: There is beginning evidence to suggest that the gut microbiota is related to autoimmunity and the pathology of MS. However, more research is necessary to clarify these mechanisms. Implications for Practice: A better understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in MS may lead to the development of targeted individualized interventions affecting the gut microbiota. These interventions may emphasize symptom self-management strategies such as diet.