Relation of brain and gut microbiota
Relation of brain and gut microbiota

We all are home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and more, referred to as the microbiota. These organisms evolved along with us, inhabiting various ecological locations in and on our bodies, and are important to our health.

Robert Friedland, MD, professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville, has conducted research showing that the microorganisms in the intestines can affect the brain, and may be responsible for causing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He will discuss this research and other valuable insights on microbiota at the next Beer with a Scientist event, Feb. 15. 

“These partner microbes have more than 100 times more genes than our own DNA. Since they are dependent upon our diet for their nutrition and sustenance, we can substantially alter the microbiota through alteration of food intake, performing a type of ‘gene therapy,’” Friedland said. “We will discuss the role of the microbiota in health and disease and review what people can do to lower their risk of cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”

Friedland is a clinical and research neurologist and has researched neurodegenerative diseases and other brain disorders associated with aging for more than 30 years. He is collaborating on research projects with investigators in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The Beer with a Scientist event begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session. Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

The next Beer with a Scientist is scheduled for March 15.