Despite being a “silent epidemic” disease, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is considered one of the major causes of mortality, together with its main complication, the cardiovascular disease, which contributes to the poor prognosis of these patients. Inflammation has been recognized as an essential part of CKD and is closely linked to cardiovascular complications. The identification of novel biomarkers using omics technologies is rapidly advancing and could improve the early detection in renal diseases. Omics approaches, including proteomics, could provide novel insights into disease mechanisms, identifying at the same time accurate inflammatory biomarker panels with an essential role in disease monitoring and follow-up. Recent advances highlight the gut microbiota as an important source of inflammation in kidney diseases. An increasing body of evidence reveals the cross talk between microbiota and host in CKD; in addition, gut dysbiosis may represent an underappreciated cause of inflammation and subsequently could lead to malnutrition, accelerated cardiovascular disease and CKD progression. This chapter discusses the relationship between inflammation and CKD and highlights the novel approaches regarding microbiota involvement in CKD pathology, as well as their potential to facilitate improving the quality of life.
Part of the book: Chronic Kidney Disease
A rather new and somewhat unusual concept connects brain functions to gut microbiota. It is called “gut-brain axis” (or “microbiota-gut-brain axis”) and states that probiotics consumption and a healthy gut microbiota positively influence brain functions related to behavior and cognition. Synergistic with a low chronic grade peripheral inflammation, this faulty barrier exposes the aged brain to negative extra-cerebral signals. Given the quasi-constant failure of pharmacological treatments in neurodegenerative diseases, increased interest is directed toward allopathic medicine, including dietary supplements. Interplay between gut microbiota and central nervous system by immune, neural and metabolic pathways is being explored as a possible modulator of cognitive impairment and behavior disorders. In elderly persons, this axis has been reported to be altered, contributing to systemic inflammation and was also indicated as a possible marker for early frailty in younger population. Currently, there are several clinical trials addressing the relationship between gut microbiota and central nervous system psychiatric disorders and at least one directly investigating whether there is a correlation between composition of gut microbiome, permeability of intestinal barrier and systemic inflammation in patients with dementia. This chapter discusses evidence-based data on positive modulation of gut-brain axis to alleviate behavior and cognition alterations in the elderly.
Part of the book: Gerontology