Probiotics Aid Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients

Probiotics Aid Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients
Probiotics Aid Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients

Probiotics found in yoghurt and supplements could help improve thinking and memory for people with Alzheimer’s disease. A small study found people given the bacterial supplement had improved scores on brain function tests.

The Iranian study was carried out by researchers from Kashan University of Medical Sciences in Iran and funded by a grant from the university. It was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience and can be read online.

The research team gave 60 patients with Alzheimer’s with a mean age of 80 a probiotic drink every day for 12 weeks, and then measured the changes in brain function test scores before and after the treatment. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts promoted as having various health benefits, and are often added to yoghurt.

This randomized controlled trial found treatment with probiotic supplements resulted in a small improvement in cognitive function compared with the control group, the Daily Telegraph reported.

They found small improvements after the probiotics were given compared with the placebo group. While the results are far from conclusive, they do add to a previous body of research that suggests there may be an association between gut health and brain function.

Exploring this association could lead to new insights and possible treatments for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

There are no known safety concerns about probiotics. But based on the small size and short-term nature of this study, more rigorous research would be required before probiotics could be recommended as an evidence-based treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease.


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