The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. George Tetz
Without a doubt, we spend a lot of time in this forum discussing the influence of bacteria on the health of the gut, and how that translates into risk for disease elsewhere in the body. As it turns out, there are a multitude of other entities residing within the gut that are absolutely worthy of our attention.
Bacteriophages are a type of virus that can infect bacteria and alter their function. First identified in 1917, bacteriophages have been long overlooked in terms of their potential contribution to human disease.
Our interview today is with Dr. George Tetz, one of the world leaders in bacteriophage research. He has identified pathways whereby bacteriophages can alter gut bacteria in such a way so as to modify their function in the human body. His work relates bacteriophage activity with autoimmune conditions, like Type 1 diabetes. He has also found strong connections between bacteriophages and Parkinson’s disease, a subject into which he’ll dive deeper in our discussion. He believes that these bacteria-infecting viruses may also play a prominent role in other neurodegenerative conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The implications of the science shared in this interview are many! I will state at the outset that some of the discussion is at a level that might be challenging for the non-researcher to understand, but there are some terrific takeaways and I would urge all of you to celebrate with me the accomplishments of this incredible scientist.
Finally, I mention a YouTube video that graphically illustrates the function of these bacteriophages. It’s very well-done, and worth a look.