Plaques, or clusters, of a protein called beta-amyloid - along with the inflammation surrounding these plaques - play a significant role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), medicalnewstoday.com reports.

 

It is suggested that amyloidosis - the accumulation and buildup of beta-amyloid peptides into plaques in the brain - is key to AD onset and progression.

 

Inflammation of the microglia, brain cells that perform immune system functions in the central nervous system, and the severity of that neuroinflammation may affect the rate of cognitive decline from AD.

 

In addition to decreasing amyloid plaques and activating inflammatory microglial cells in the brain, the study, published in Scientific Reports, showed that administering antibiotics made significant changes in the gut microbiome of the mice.

 

The gut microbiome changes indicate that that the composition and diversity of gut bacteria could be fundamental in regulating immune system activity that influences AD progression.

 

"We're exploring very new territory in how the gut influences brain health," says senior author Sangram Sisodia, Ph.D., a Thomas Reynolds Sr. Family professor of neurosciences at The University of Chicago.

 

"This is an area that people who work with neurodegenerative diseases are going to be increasingly interested in, because it could have an influence down the road on treatments."

 

Photo: medicalnewstoday.com

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