Stomach microbes also target the brain

Helicobacter Pylori, this bacterium that lives in the body for years without showing symptoms and causes diseases such as gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer, can also lead to neurological diseases according to scientific studies. Specialist in Neurology Prof. Dr. Derya Uludüz explained the effects of this bacterium on the brain, which can be transmitted through direct contact, food and water, and causes symptoms such as upset stomach, nausea, loss of appetite , frequent belching, bloating, and unexplained weight loss.


1. Pylori settles in the stomach with low acidity and multiplies. After multiplying, it releases ammonia as a waste product and H. Pylori hides under the stomach mucus layer to protect itself from stomach acid, as ammonia will alkalize the stomach. Because the ammonia released by H. pylori is alkaline, it can reduce stomach acid, making the stomach a more hospitable home for bacteria and other microbes.


Helicobacter Pylori can cause neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Guillain-Barré syndrome. It does this through various mechanisms. The most important of these mechanisms is the systemic inflammation it causes. Helicobacter Pylori damages the intestinal lining and causes inflammation. This damaged intestinal lining allows larger, poorly digested protein particles to pass into the circulation, triggering a cytokine-like immune response. Cytokines that enter the circulation can cause brain inflammation and neuron death. Helicobacter Pylori infection usually persists throughout life and makes the inflammatory response chronic.


Other Helicobacter Pylori mechanisms that cause neurological disorders are to cause malabsorption of B6, B12 and folate (B9) and to increase homocysteine ​​levels. For B vitamins to be absorbed, they must be exposed to high stomach acid. However, H. Pylori causes a decrease in stomach acid and prevents the absorption of vitamins B6, folate B9 and B12. Therefore, the reduced amounts of B12 and folate in the body cannot convert homocysteine ​​and accumulation of homocysteine ​​occurs in the body. Homocysteine ​​is toxic to endothelial cells and is a very important risk factor for vascular disease. It can cause many diseases ranging from dementia to cardiovascular disease.


PARKINSON: The disease occurs with the loss of dopaminergic nerve cells. Cytokines in the blood cause disruption of the blood-brain barrier and open the brain to toxins. Several studies have revealed that the immune response associated with chronic gastrointestinal diseases can trigger brain inflammation and the death of dopaminergic neurons. The systemic inflammation initiated by Helicobacter Pylori may thus prepare the brain for Parkinson’s disease. Also, L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine, is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. However, H. Pylori infection disrupts the lining of the small intestine, which is the main site of L-dopa absorption, preventing the body from using L-dopa. Recent studies have shown that treatment of H. pylori in patients with Parkinson’s disease; It has shown that it can improve the bioavailability of L-dopa.

ALZHEIMER: Elevated levels of H. Pylori-specific IgG antibodies, IL-8, and TNF have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer’s disease patients infected with Helicobacter Pylori. This systemic inflammation could play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Also, low stomach acid caused by H. Pylori reduces vitamin B levels, which leads to an increase in homocysteine. Homocysteine ​​is an important risk factor for dementia. Homocysteine-induced oxidative damage has been described in the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment, suggesting that oxidative damage may be one of the earliest events in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease .

GUAIN BARRE SYNDROME: It is a disease that manifests as progressive motor weakness that usually begins in the legs and can be triggered by a bacterial or viral infection. In studies, antigens found in the pathogenic bacteria Campylobacter jejuni and H. Pylori in the digestive tract have been found in the cerebrospinal fluids of people with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

ISCHEMIC PARLIAMENT: The majority of ischemic strokes are the occlusion of the vessels supplying the brain and the heart. H. Pylori activates platelets and affects clotting. With these aspects, it contributes to vascular occlusion. Additionally, studies have shown that 6 months after activation of H. Pylori infection, blood levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, elevated C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and IL-8 increase. It is known to increase whole homocysteine. All of these values ​​are important risk factors for strokes and other vascular diseases. It increases the risk of atherosclerosis, increases blood density, promotes blood clot formation and causes systemic inflammation of blood vessels.

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