Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Recently published in the journal Gut, a longitudinal study based on the Taiwanese National Health Insurance research database followed 1,742 IBD patients aged 45 or older in comparison with 17,420 without IBD (control). The results showed that 5.5% of those with IBD were later diagnosed with dementia compared to 1.4% of those without IBD. Moreover, patients with IBD were diagnosed with dementia about seven years younger than those who were not diagnosed with IBD.
As this is a population-based cohort study, and therefore the results did not show a direct causative link. There are also many other factors that could have played a role i.e. diet and lifestyle. However, this is an important evidence showing a possible link between gut health and neurological disease i.e. gut-brain axis.
Zhang B. et al. (2020) Inflammatory bowel disease is associated with higher dementia risk: a nationwide longitudinal study. Gut. Online ahead of print.