Gut Microbiota and Microbiota-Related Metabolites as Possible Biomarkers of Cognitive Aging

  • Andrea TicinesiEmail author
  • Antonio Nouvenne
  • Claudio Tana
  • Beatrice Prati
  • Tiziana Meschi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1178)


Gut microbiota composition and functionality can influence the pathophysiology of age-related cognitive impairment and dementia, according to a large number of animal studies. The translation of this concept to humans is still uncertain, due to the relatively low number of clinical studies focused on fecal microbiota and large number of environmental factors that influence the microbiota composition. However, the fecal microbiota composition of older patients with dementia is deeply different from that of healthy active controls, conditioning a different metabolic profile. The possible use of fecal microbiota-related parameters and microbiota-derived metabolites as biomarkers of cognitive performance and dementia is critically reviewed in this paper, focusing on the most promising areas of research for the future.


Alzheimer’s disease Mild cognitive impairment Biodiversity Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio Microbial metabolites 



All authors have no conflict of interest to declare. No funding is reported for this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Ticinesi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Antonio Nouvenne
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudio Tana
    • 1
  • Beatrice Prati
    • 1
  • Tiziana Meschi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Geriatric Rehabilitation DepartmentUniversity-Hospital of ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Microbiome Research HubUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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