Background: Differential abundance of gut microbiota has found to be associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the relative abundance of gut microbiota between dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in AD is not well studied. Objective: We attempted to identify differentially enriched gut microbes and their metabolic pathways in AD patients with dementia comparing to AD patients with MCI. Methods: Fecal samples were collected at Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan and analyzed by whole metagenomic sequencing technique. For normal controls without AD (NC), 16S rRNA sequencing was obtained from the Taiwan Microbiome Database. A total of 48 AD (38 dementia and 10 MCI defined by cognitive function scores) and 50 NC were included. Microbiome alpha and beta diversities were estimated. Differentially enriched microbes were identified with HAllA, MaAsLin, DESeq2, and LEfSe statistical modeling approaches. Results: We found significantly increased abundance of Firmicutes but decreased abundance of Bacteroidetes at phylum level in AD compared to NC. In AD patients, cognitive function scores were negatively associated with abundance of Blautia hydrogenotrophica (Firmicutes), Anaerotruncus colihominis (Firmicutes), and Gordonibacter pamelaeae (Actinobacteria). In addition, microbial abundance in the sucrose and S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) metabolic pathways was more enriched in AD with MCI than AD with dementia and significantly associated with higher cognitive function scores. Conclusion: Gut microbe community diversity was similar in AD patients regardless of MCI or dementia status. However, differential analyses probed in lower-level taxa and metabolic pathways suggested that specific gut microbes in Firmicutes and Actinobacteria might involve in cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1130
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • dementia
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) metabolic pathway
  • sucrose metabolic pathway
  • whole metagenome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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