Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder, is accompanied by cognitive impairment and shows representative pathological features, including senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Recent evidence suggests that several systemic changes outside the brain are associated with AD and may contribute to its pathogenesis. Among the factors that induce systemic changes in AD, the gut microbiota is increasingly drawing attention. Modulation of gut microbiome, along with continuous attempts to remove pathogenic proteins directly from the brain, is a viable strategy to cure AD. Seeking a holistic understanding of the pathways throughout the body that can affect the pathogenesis, rather than regarding AD solely as a brain disease, may be key to successful therapy. In this review, we focus on the role of the gut microbiota in causing systemic manifestations of AD. The review integrates recently emerging concepts and provides potential mechanisms about the involvement of the gut-brain axis in AD, ranging from gut permeability and inflammation to bacterial translocation and cross-seeding.
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