Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Ai-Ling Lin

Second Advisor

Dr. Ming Gong


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and a growing disease burden that has seen pharmacological interventions primarily fail. Instead, it has been suggested that preventative measures such as a healthy diet may be the best way in preventing AD. Prebiotics are one such potential measure and are fermented into metabolites by the gut microbiota and acting as gut-brain axis components, beneficially impact the brain. However, the impact of prebiotics in AD prevention is unknown. Here we show that the prebiotic inulin increased multiple gut-brain axis components such as scyllo-inositol and short chain fatty acids in the gut, periphery, and in the case of scyllo-inositol, the brain. We found in E3FAD and E4FAD mice fed either a prebiotic or control diet for 4-months, that the consumption of the prebiotic inulin can beneficially alter the gut microbiota, modulate metabolic function, and dramatically increase scyllo-inositol in the brain. This suggests that the consumption of prebiotics can beneficially impact the brain by enhancing metabolism, helping to decrease AD risk factors.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following National Institute of Health and National Institute of Aging grants: NIH T32DK007778, NIH/NIA R01AG054459, NIA K01AG040164, and UL1TR0000117.