Antibiotics Altering Gut Bacteria Reduced Alzheimer’s Symptoms, But Only in Male Mice, Study Shows

Antibiotics Altering Gut Bacteria Reduced Alzheimer’s Symptoms, But Only in Male Mice, Study Shows
Long-term antibiotic treatment, aimed at altering the bacterial population in the gut, was found to reduce the inflammation and amyloid plaque formation that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease — but only in male mice. The same treatment had no effect on female mice, a study found. The study, “Sex-specific effects of microbiome perturbations on cerebral Aβ amyloidosis and microglia phenotypes,” was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Alzheimer's is characterized by plaques, or clumps, of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta within nerve cells. These accumulations lead to the activation of a certain type of immune cell in the brain, known as microglia, which can help remove the amyloid plaques. However, the microglia's activation may further exacerbate Alzheimer's by causing inflammation of the central nervous system — a process known as neuroinflammation. Several factors can influence neuroinflammation, including — notably — the population of bacteria that reside in the intestines. These bacteria are known collectively as the gut microbiome. “Recent evidence suggests that intestinal bacteria could play a major role in various neurological conditions including autism spectrum disorders,
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