Microbiome Bites May 28th: Probiotic Limits Alzheimer’s Disease Progression in Mice
Alzheimer’s disease is a common, progressive disease that causes a gradual loss of memory, judgment, and ability to function. The disease results from peptides (bits of protein, called amyloid plaques) collecting in the brain.
There is currently no known treatment.
The role of the gut microbiome has been firmly established in neurodegenerative disease and probiotics are becoming an accepted treatment for allergies, gastrointestinal infections, inflammation and cancer.
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports has shown that a novel probiotic (SLAB51) can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in a mouse model.
What’s in SLAB51?
SLAB51 is a formulation of nine bacterial strains: Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria (B. longum, B. breve, B. infantis), lactobacilli (L. acidophilus, L plantarum, L. paracasei, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. brevis).
In the study, mice in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease were treated with ~ 25 billion CFU of SLAB51 per day for four months and behaviors, metabolic pathways related to Alzheimer’s, and the gut microbiomes of the mice were monitored.
The researchers found that the probiotic caused changes in the microbiomes of the Alzheimer’s mice when compared to healthy mice. They saw an increase in anti-inflammatory bacteria and a related reduction in markers of systemic inflammation.
Compared to untreated mice, the Alzheimer’s mice treated with the probiotic had improved cognitive function (i.e. memory), fewer amyloid plaques in their brains and greater function in the metabolic pathways associated with breaking down the amyloid plaques.
This research demonstrates that a probiotic can be beneficial in slowing down Alzheimer’s disease progression and lays the groundwork for developing new strategies to treat and perhaps prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.