Scientists at the University of East Anglia, the University of Florence (Italy) and the Quadram Institute in the UK have found that gut microbiome transplants can be used to rejuvenate the brain and restore cognitive function in older adults. A new way to fight aging is called in an article published in the journal Nature Immunology.
Researchers transplanted fecal matter from adult mice into younger rodents and assessed the latter for parameters such as anxiety, memory, and exploratory behavior aimed at finding and acquiring new information. After transplantation, scientists found significant differences in the microbial profiles of young mice. In addition, they were found to have impaired spatial learning and memory.
The decline in cognitive functions was accompanied by changes in the expression of proteins associated with synaptic plasticity and neurotransmission, as well as changes in the cells of the hippocampus, which are responsible for the formation of long-term memory.
Thus, the transplantation of faeces from an old donor to a young recipient causes age-related shifts in the composition of the intestinal microbiota and affects the functions of the nervous system. Transplanting the gut microbiome from young donors to old recipients can have a beneficial effect on cognitive function in older patients, scientists say.