Gut bacteria relieve epilepsy

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Science  15 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6394, pp. 1199-1200
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6394.1199-c

A high-fat and low-carbohydrate, or ketogenic, diet is used to treat children with refractory epilepsy. Olson et al. show that the ketogenic diet enriches populations of the gut commensal bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides spp. The presence of these species appears to protect against induced epileptic seizures in mice, even in those on a nonketogenic diet. Together, these bacteria alter the profile of circulating metabolites, which subsequently modulates metabolism in the brain. Specifically, reduction in γ-glutamylation of circulating amino acids and elevated hippocampal GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)/glutamate are associated with seizure protection in mice.

Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2018.04.027 (2018).

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