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2023 Alzheimer's Association Research Grant to Promote Diversity (AARG-D)

Pyroptosis-induced gut-brain disruption after Stroke in Alzheimer’s disease

How does a stroke impact the gut microbiome in Alzheimer’s?  

Nadine Ahmed Kerr, Ph.D.
Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami
Miami, FL - United States


The gut microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live within the intestine and impact overall human health. Research suggests that imbalances in the gut microbiome may be associated with several diseases, including brain diseases. These imbalances could be associated with inflammatory changes in the gut and the brain and may be linked to brain changes in Alzheimer’s. 

One potential cause of gut microbiome imbalance is stroke. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, leading to inflammation and death of brain cells. Studies have shown that individuals who have had a stroke may also be at increased risk for Alzheimer’s. However, the link between stroke-induced brain inflammation, the gut microbiome, and Alzheimer’s is unknown.

Research Plan

Dr. Nadine Kerr and colleagues will examine how inflammation as a result of a stroke contributes to gut microbiome changes in Alzheimer’s. For their studies, they will induce a stroke in genetically engineered Alzheimer’s-like mice. The team will study how soon after a stroke inflammation and cell death occur in the gut and brain. Next, the researchers will investigate the inflammatory proteins in the blood and stool of these mice to examine the mechanisms by which a stroke leads to gut microbiome imbalance in the presence of Alzheimer's-related brain changes.


The results of the study may provide further insight into the link between the brain and the gut microbiome, and how these biological underpinnings may contribute to Alzheimer’s progression. If successful, the findings may also further advance our understanding of how strokes contribute to Alzheimer’s progression.

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