Antibiotics might fight Alzheimer’s plaques | Science News

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Antibiotics might fight Alzheimer’s plaques

Mouse study links drug-induced changes in gut bacteria to reduced A-beta buildup in brain

5:00am, July 21, 2016
Alzheimer’s plaques in human brain

PLAQUE FIGHTER  A long dose of antibiotics reduced Alzheimer’s-related plaques (shown here in a human brain) in the brains of mice, results that suggest gut bacteria can influence the disease. 

A long course of antibiotics reduced the levels of a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease in the brains of mice, possibly by changing the species of bacteria in the gut. The results, described July 21 in Scientific Reports, suggest that gut bacteria may be linked in some way to Alzheimer’s.

The finding is preliminary, cautions neurobiologist Robert Moir of Massachusetts General Hospital, but it certainly merits more research. “It’s a nice new step in what could be a new strategy,” he says.  

Recent studies that found links between microbes in the gut and the brain (SN: 4/2/16, p. 23) captured the attention of study coauthor Sangram Sisodia of the University of Chicago and colleagues. They wondered whether antibiotics could affect sticky globs of amyloid-beta, a protein that accumulates into

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