Antibiotics may promote the onset of Alzheimer’s disease

The mystery surrounding Alzheimer’s disease still intrigues many scientists to this day. They are looking for the cause of such a phenomenon as well as the reason why the elderly are the most affected by this type of dementia.

A neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s disease gradually affects the different parts of the brain that manage the cognitive functions that help us on a daily basis. Among these, the memory function of our brain is most often affected.

US study reveals link between antibiotics and Alzheimer’s disease

The results of the American study of PLOS ONE, revealed last March, contribute greatly to the worldwide scientific discussion on cognitive dementias. This scientific team wanted to study the possible connections between the use of antibiotic drugs in women aged around fifty and the reduction of cognitive functions over the long term. Carried out over a period of 4 years, this study reveals that cognitive performance was worse in fifty-year-old women who took antibiotics for more than a month, compared to those who had not taken them over the long term. Skills such as psychomotricity or memory had thus decreased, demonstrating that the prolonged use of antibiotics during the fifties would increase the risk of cognitive decline, of which Alzheimer’s disease is one.

The intestinal microbiota at the heart of the scientific discussion

We are therefore entitled to wonder how simple antibiotics could have such an impact on our cognitive state, at an advanced age. Antibiotics have an impact on our gut microbiota. These are all the microorganisms (such as bacteria or viruses, naturally present in the body and harmless) that live in our small intestine and our colon. However, the importance of our intestinal microbiota is underlined by the scientific community if we wish to have good cognitive health. Although this connection between our belly and our brain may seem strange, there are already many studies that have demonstrated this link, even advancing the theory that an unhealthy microbiota could cause depression. This new PLOS ONE study therefore confirms the importance of not disturbing the intestinal microbiota, in particular through the prolonged use of antibiotics.

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