MARS Study

The MARS: Microbiome in Alzheimer’s Risk Study at the University of Wisconsin investigates the impact of human gut microbes on the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Very little research has been done in this area, but the microbiome has been shown to affect other diseases. Differences between microbiomes discovered in this investigation would provide researchers with risk factors that can help diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s.

What is the human microbiome?
The human microbiome is the bacteria and fungi that make their home in or on your body. Some of those that live in your gut do helpful things, like help you digest food and fight off harmful bacteria, while others simply find it a comfy place to live. What is in the gut inevitably gets flushed down the toilet, so fecal samples can tell us your unique microbiome. The study of the human microbiome has become increasingly relevant as we discover its many impacts on our health. 

Participation Eligibility
  • Men and women volunteers who are 40 years old or older.
  • Participant in the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and/or the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP).
  • Participation in this study is voluntary. You can stop participating at any time.

What is involved?

Participants will be mailed a stool sample collection kit and questionnaires to fill out, and the entire process will take place at your home. Participants simply use the collection kit the next time they have to go, and the kit goes in a box. The box is then mailed to a lab on campus. Previous users of the kit have found it easy and sanitary to use. We ask participants to send in samples every two years. 

Learn more

If you have further questions or would like to schedule a study visit, please contact us at (608) 265-6253. 

Study Coordinators