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News ID: 92591
Publish Date : 18 July 2021 - 21:59
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NEW YORK (Dispatches) -- Rutgers University researchers report that antibiotic exposure early in life could alter human brain development in areas responsible for cognitive and emotional functions
The study compared mice that were exposed to low-dose penicillin in utero or immediately after birth to those that were not exposed. They found that mice given penicillin experienced substantial changes in their intestinal microbiota and had altered gene expression in the frontal cortex and amygdala, two key areas in the brain responsible for the development of memory as well as fear and stress responses.
A growing body of evidence links phenomena in the intestinal tract with signaling to the brain, a field of study known as the “gut-brain-axis.” If this pathway is disturbed, it can lead to permanent altering of the brain’s structure and function and possibly lead to neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative disorders in later childhood or adulthood.
The study suggests that penicillin changes the microbiome -- the trillions of beneficial microorganisms that live in and on our bodies -- as well as gene expression, which allows cells to respond to its changing environment, in key areas of the developing brain. The findings suggest reducing widespread antibiotic use or using alternatives when possible to prevent neurodevelopment problems.

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