A probiotic bacterium called Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus HA-114 prevents neurodegeneration in the C. elegans worm, an animal model used to study amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
That’s the finding of a new study at Canada’s CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) led by Université de Montréal neuroscience professor Alex Parker and published in the journal Communications Biology.
He and his team suggest that the disruption of lipid metabolism contributes to this cerebral degeneration, and show that the neuroprotection provided by HA-114, a non-commercial probiotic, is unique compared to other strains of the same bacterial family tested.
“When we add it to the diet of our animal model, we notice that it suppresses the progression of motor neuron degeneration,” said Parker, the study’s lead author. “The particularity of HA-114 resides in its fatty acid content.”
By enabling the transmission of signals to muscles so that they contract, motor neurons, which are nerve cells, allow us to move our body at will.
People with ALS see a gradual deterioration of their motor neurons. This makes them lose their muscular ability, to the point of total paralysis, with an average life expectancy of only 3 to 5 years after diagnosis.
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