Microbiome, Alzheimer's and BDNF

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time lapse animations, taken with the phase contrast microscopy technique, shows neural stem cells in a nutrient medium over a period of 4 hours. [3]

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein responsible for the survival of neurons and stimulates the growth and differentiation of new neurons [1]. The levels of BDNF decrease while aging and people with Alzheimer’s disease have generally lower levels of BDNF.
Researchers looked into BDNF levels in different areas of the brain of mice treated with antibiotics and found that BDNF levels in antibiotic-treated mice were lower in the hippocampus, the region that plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, compared to their healthy counterparts [2].
These results empathize the importance of the microbiome in processing information and memories!

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the cortex, hypothalamus and the hippocampus of healthy mice (white) and antibiotic-treated mice (black) [2]

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the cortex, hypothalamus and the hippocampus of healthy mice (white) and antibiotic-treated mice (black) [2]

 

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor#Function
  2. Sudo et al., Postnatal microbial colonization programs the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal system for stress response in mice, J Physiol, 2004
  3. https://imgur.com/gallery/3JXaeaN