Gut Bacteria Research May Lead to New Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

Increased gut bacteria linked to inflammation among children with multiple sclerosis.

A difference in the abundance of certain types of gut bacteria were found in children with and without multiple sclerosis (MS) in a recent study.

The study revealed an association between MS and increased gut bacteria linked to inflammation, while a decrease in gut bacteria is considered anti-inflammatory.

By gaining a better understanding of the role gut bacteria plays in multiple sclerosis, it could lead to identifying novel drug targets and pathways that improve health, according to the study authors.

“While these findings are preliminary, they are intriguing. We also observed some similarities between our findings and other emerging gut microbiota studies in multiple sclerosis; whether these indicate a 'gut signature' of multiple sclerosis or of broader autoimmune disease remains to be determined,” said lead study author Helen Tremlett. “We also found differences in the gut microbiota composition between those children taking a disease-modifying drug for their disease compared with those who were not. This finding warrants further study.”