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Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Human Microbiota

Solo disponible en e-book

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Autor: Luis Carrasco.

ISBN: 978-84-92914-50-0
Formato: epub Only available in platforms: 

Colores: 4/4 interiores, 4/0 para cubierta
Serie: O3pinión
Año: 2020




Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the relationship between the microbiota – the trillions of microorganisms that inhabit the human body – and the host, both in health and disease. The microbiota comprises a complex community or ecosystem of microorganisms that colonize external tissues, such as skin, hair and nails, and internal tissues including the intestine and the vaginal and conjunctiva mucosa. The microorganisms that make up the human microbiota include viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi and, to a lesser extent, protozoa. The largest number of microorganisms are found in the digestive tract, with the majority in the oral and nasopharyngeal cavity and in the intestine. The composition of the microbiota varies greatly between individuals and also varies in the same person depending on age, on diet and lifestyle, and even on the state of the person’s health. Not surprisingly, the microbiota influences many physiological functions beyond food metabolism, and can affect both the immune system and the nervous system. The microbiota composition may be imbalanced (dysbiosis) in patients with different pathologies, and can play an important role in the severity of different clinical symptoms.

In this book, we introduce a new concept in the field of human microbiota in health and disease. The fundamental idea is that both fungi and bacteria can be found in some internal tissues that should be "sterile", which can lead to polymicrobial infections. In the absence of symptoms, these infections may go unnoticed over many years or decades. However, if the number of fungi and/or bacteria in a given tissue increases due to, for example, stress, changes in diet, lifestyle, etc., clinical symptoms may begin to emerge, which can vary greatly depending on the affected tissue. This diversity in symptoms will also depend on the specific species of fungi and/or bacteria that affect each individual. The internal microbiota may be the root cause of numerous diseases in humans whose etiology is still unknown. Among these diseases, we can include neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, ophthalmological, rheumatic and allergic diseases, among others. This concept has been studied and published in many different scientific works of our research group in recent years. We have determined the species of fungi and bacteria that can exist in the nervous system – mainly in the brain of patients with different neurodegenerative diseases (NGDs) such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. In this book, I first present an overview of this concept and I then indicate the potential possibilities for proper diagnosis and more appropriate treatments for these human diseases whose cause remains unknown. The treatment of polymicrobial infections in internal tissues is very complex and it will take some years to determine the most appropriate therapeutic strategy to combat them. At the moment, it is more about laying the foundations to determine the etiology of these diseases and initiating new lines of research aimed at elucidating the most effective therapeutic options.

Información adicional

Autor Luis Carrasco is Professor of Microbiología in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


1.1. A new concept in microbial pathology

1.2. Classification of microorganisms

  1.2.1. Classification of bacteria and archaeobacteria

1.2.2. Classification of fungi

1.2.3. Classification of viruses

 1.3. Some microorganisms of interest

  1.3.1. Bacteria

1.3.2. Fungi

1.4. Microbial toxins





2.1. Basic notions about the microbiota

2.2. Microbial interactions

2.3. Acquisition of the microbiota in the first months of life

2.4. The microbiota in the pre-urban era

2.5. Internal tissues may contain microbes





3.1. Introduction

3.2. The new paradigm: polymicrobial infections as causative agents of neurodegenerative diseases

3.3. Alzheimer's disease

3.3.1. Microbial infections in patients with Alzheimer's disease

3.3.2. Starchy bodies (corpora amylacea) in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease

3.3.3. Endomycosomes

3.3.4. Arguments supporting microbial infections as the cause of Alzheimer's disease

3.4. Parkinson’s disease

3.4.1. Involvement of microbial agents in Parkinson's disease

3.4.2. Evidence in favor of the microbial etiology of Parkinson's disease

 3.5. Huntington’s disease

3.5.1. Involvement of microorganisms in the etiology of Huntington's disease

3.5.2. Comments on the involvement of infections in patients with Huntington's disease

3.6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

3.6.1. Search for infections in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

3.6.2. Polymicrobial infections explain the clinical findings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

3.7. Multiple sclerosis

3.7.1. Presence of mycoses and bacterial infections in the central nervous system of patients with multiple sclerosis

3.7.2. Considerations on a new proposal for polymicrobial infections in multiple sclerosis


References from our group



4.1. Other neurological diseases

  4.1.1. Autism

4.1.2. Schizophrenia

4.1.3. Epilepsy

4.1.4. Myalgic encephalomyelitis

4.2. Autoimmune diseases

  4.2.1. Systemic lupus erythematosus

4.2.2. Rheumatoid arthritis

4.2.3. Inflammatory bowel disease

4.2.4. Systemic sclerosis

4.3. Allergic asthma


4.4. Cardiovascular diseases

4.5. Cancer

4.6. Rare diseases

4.7. Ophthalmic diseases 

4.7.1. Eye cataracts

4.7.2. Glaucoma

4.7.3. Sjögren's syndrome. Dry eye

4.7.4. Retinopathies. AZOOR




5.1. Diagnosis

5.1.1. Fungal growth from human samples

5.1.2. Analysis of fungal DNA

5.1.3. Analysis of fungal proteins

5.1.4. Analysis of fungal polysaccharides

5.1.5. Analysis of fungal metabolites

5.1.6. Detection of emerging infections

5.1.7. Detection of resistant mutants

5.1.8. Analysis of the relationship between the pathogen and the host

5.1.9. Diagnosis in the future

 5.2. Treatment

5.2.1. Antifungal compounds Ergosterol synthesis inhibitors Polyene antifungals Echinocandins Other antifungals Some conclusions about antifungal compounds

5.2.2. Antibacterial compounds

5.2.3. Immune system functionality

5.2.4. Vaccine development

5.2.5. Treatments with natural compounds

5.2.6. Diet and lifestyle

5.2.7. Psychic stability

5.2.8. Conclusions on treatment

5.2.9. Last thoughts on this book


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