Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Gut Liver. 2023 Jul 15;17(4):495-504. doi: 10.5009/gnl220523. Epub 2023 Feb 27.


A growing body of evidence has demonstrated an intricate association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and neurodegenerative conditions, expanding beyond previous foci of comorbidities between IBD and mood disorders. These new discoveries stem from an improved understanding of the gut-microbiome-brain axis: specifically, the ability of the intestinal microbiota to modulate inflammation and regulate neuromodulatory compounds. Clinical retrospective studies incorporating large sample sizes and population-based cohorts have demonstrated and confirmed the relevance of IBD and chronic neurodegeneration in clinical medicine. In this review, we expound upon the current knowledge on the gut-microbiome-brain axis, highlighting several plausible mechanisms linking IBD with neurodegeneration. We also summarize the known associations between IBD with Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia and ischemic stroke, and multiple sclerosis in a clinical context. Finally, we discuss the implications of an improved understanding of the gut-microbiome-brain axis in preventing, diagnosing, and managing neurodegeneration among IBD and non-IBD patients.

Keywords: Dementia; Gut-brain axis; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Multiple sclerosis; Parkinson disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / complications
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases*
  • Retrospective Studies

Grants and funding

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The study was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST 110-2628-B-075-009) and Taipei Veterans General Hospital-National Yang-Ming University Excellent Physician Scientists Cultivation Program 108-V-B-045. B.Z. receives research support from the Zumberge Individual Award of the University of Southern California. The funding sources had no role in any process of our study.