MEDICAL XPRESS – A team of researchers from Massachusetts has found a link between the use of antibiotics by middle-aged women and cognitive decline later in life.
The group has published a paper describing their work on the open-access site PLOS ONE.
Prior research has suggested that there is a connection between gut microbiome health and mental health—communication between the gut and the central nervous system has been labeled the gut-brain axis. And some studies have shown an apparent link between problems in the gut and mental diseases, such as depression and schizophrenia.
Prior research has also shown that antibiotics use can lead to serious disruptions in the microbiome. This is not surprising, since the microbiome is made up partly of bacteria.
In this new effort, the researchers found a link between antibiotics use by women during middle age and a larger than normal degree of cognitive decline … READ MORE.
Association of midlife antibiotic use with subsequent cognitive function in women
PLOS ONE – The gut microbiome is increasingly recognized to play a role in cognition and dementia.
Antibiotic use impacts the gut microbiome and has been linked with chronic disease.
Despite these data, there is no evidence supporting an association between long-term antibiotic use in adults and cognitive function.
We conducted a prospective population-based cohort study among 14,542 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II who completed a self-administered computerized neuropsychological test battery between 2014–2018.
Multivariate linear regression models were used to assess if chronic antibiotic use in midlife was associated with cognitive impairment assessed later in life.
Women who reported at least 2 months of antibiotic exposure in midlife (mean age 54.7, SD 4.6) had lower mean cognitive scores seven years later, after adjustment for age and educational attainment of the spouse and parent, with a mean difference of -0.11 standard units for the global composite score (Ptrend <0.0001), -0.13 for a composite score of psychomotor speed and attention (Ptrend <0.0001), and -0.10 for a composite score of learning and working memory (Ptrend <0.0001) compared with non-antibiotic users.
These differences were not materially changed after multivariate adjustment for additional risk factors, including comorbid conditions.
As a benchmark, the mean difference in score associated with each additional year of age was (-0.03) for global cognition, (-0.04) for psychomotor speed and attention, and (-0.03) for learning and working memory; thus the relation of antibiotic use to cognition was roughly equivalent to that found for three to four years of aging. Long-term antibiotic use in midlife is associated with small decreases in cognition assessed seven years later.
These data underscore the importance of antibiotic stewardship, especially among aging populations. SOURCE.