Posted on May 28, 2019, 6 p.m.
Research from The University of Chicago shows that an long term use of an antibiotic mix impacted the gut bacteria in mice to the point that it reduced inflammation and slowed the growth and development of Alzheimer's, but only in males, as published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
APPPS1-21 mice models of Alzheimer’s disease were given an antibiotic combination to study its effects on formation of amyloid plaques and activation of microglia in their brains; long term use was found to affect genders differently.
For male animals antibiotics were found to reduce growth of amyloid plaques and change microglia into a form that helps to keep the brain healthy, but only in male mice; and for female animals gut microbiome changes affected their immune system to increase production of factors that could boost microglia activation, this did not occur in male mice.
Fecal material from APPPS1-21 males that did not receive antibiotics was transplanted into animals that had been receiving long term antibiotic treatment to confirm their findings, which was found to reestablish gut microbiome resulting in increased amyloid plaque formation and activation of microglia.
This brain wasting disease is not a normal part of aging, although increasing age is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, and genes may play a role. Some studies also suggest that other health and lifestyle factors such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure may have connections to the disease which progressively worsens over time to experience memory problems that manifests in many ways. As it progress people can get lost, and forget many things from daily work and home life making it increasingly hard to live independent lives.
Currently there is no known cure for this horrible disease only treatments to help people better manage their symptoms, and if lucky help to slow down progression of the disease. Ongoing research is searching for better treatments and a cure to halt advancement of AD, such as this promising study which requires further work to uncover what benefits from it may impart to humans.
“Our study shows that antibiotic-mediated perturbations of the gut microbiome have selective, sex-specific influences on amyloid plaque formation and microglial activity in the brain. We now want to investigate whether these outcomes can be attributed to changes in any particular type of bacteria.” says Prof. Sangram S. Sisodia.
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