MAY 04, 2020 3:35 PM PDT

Certain Gut Bacteria Improves Memory in Mice

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers from the US Department of Energy national laboratories have found that certain gut bacteria are able to improve memory in mice.  

For their study, the researchers worked with a mouse model known as the Collaborative Cross. Including a wide variety of mouse strains, the model was intended to mimic the genetic diversity found in the human populations. 

At the beginning of the study, each strain of mice was given a memory test. The researchers then set to find out the genetic characteristics present in those that scored highest on the tests. Two sets of genes were identified as being linked to the animal’s memory capacities, while one set of 135 genes had not previously been linked to memory nor cognition. 

After this, the researchers examined the gut microbiomes of each of the different mouse strains. Lactobacillus was the most commonly found family of microbes linked to better memory. Meanwhile, L. reuteri seemed to be most associated with memory among all the other examined bacteria. 

To understand the impact of L. reuteri, the researchers administered the bacteria to germ-free mice. Memory tests proved that the bacteria tended to improve their memory compared to germ-free mice who received different microbes. 

While a link between Lactobacillus and memory was previously reported, we also found it independently in this unbiased genetic screen,” says Antoine Snijders, one of the study’s authors. “These results suggest that genetic variation in large part controls memory, as well as the differences in the composition of the gut microbiome across strains.”

To understand how certain gut bacteria appeared to improve memory, the researchers then analyzed their metabolites. Among the memory-enhancing microbes, they found that lactate was produced in large volumes. Feeding lactate directly to mice with poor memory then led to significant improvements in their memories. 

“Our study shows that the microbiome might partner with genetics to affect memory,” says Janet Jansson, another of the study’s authors, “While this research strengthens the idea that diet, genetics, and behaviors – like memory – are connected, further work is needed to show if Lactobacillus can improve memory in humans.”

 

Sources: News Atlas, Science Daily 

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
JUL 02, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Common Asthma Drug Could Treat Alzheimer's
JUL 02, 2020
Common Asthma Drug Could Treat Alzheimer's
Researchers from Lancaster University, England, have found that Salbutamol, a medication commonly used to treat asthma, ...
JUL 06, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Learning More About How Folds Form in the Developing Brain
JUL 06, 2020
Learning More About How Folds Form in the Developing Brain
The folds of the human brain are essential to its function, and improper folding has been linked to a variety of disorde ...
JUL 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Maternal Instinct Overrides Brain's Decision Making
JUL 08, 2020
Maternal Instinct Overrides Brain's Decision Making
Researchers have found that the maternal instinct can override the brain's decision-making regions to prioritize car ...
JUL 30, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Cats Successfully Treated with Gene Therapy
JUL 30, 2020
Cats Successfully Treated with Gene Therapy
While gene therapy is a promising treatment for multiple diseases caused by a genetic mutation, getting gene therapy age ...
AUG 29, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MDMA and LSD Combo to Enter Clinical Trials
AUG 29, 2020
MDMA and LSD Combo to Enter Clinical Trials
Scientists from the pharmaceutical company, MindMed, have announced the beginning of Phase 1 clinical trials to test Sch ...
SEP 16, 2020
Immunology
Depression, but Not Anxiety, Causes Inflammation and Metabolic Imbalances
SEP 16, 2020
Depression, but Not Anxiety, Causes Inflammation and Metabolic Imbalances
Scientists have discovered that depressed individuals show higher levels of inflammation as well as elevated fat concent ...
Loading Comments...