(ORDO NEWS) — New research has shown that prolonged use of antibiotics can cause serious brain damage in middle-aged women, and even increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Rush University in Chicago, Illinois found that women who took antibiotics for at least two months in a row performed significantly worse on tests of cognitive performance.
These tests measured processing speed, brain function, attention, and memory capacity. The researchers noted that taking antibiotics aged women by about 3-4 years compared to their peers, and also increased the risk of developing devastating cognitive disorders in the future.
The study began back in 1989, and the women who took part were asked to complete questionnaires every two years detailing their lifestyle, medication, and health. In 2009, when many women turned 50, a question about the duration of antibiotics was added.
A few years later, study participants took tests to determine cognitive indicators. Women who took antibiotics for at least two months in a row performed worse than their peers. In addition, over time, there were clear signs of cognitive degradation, writes DailyMail.
The exact mechanism by which antibiotics affect the human brain has not been established, but experts believe it has to do with the gut microbiome.
Previously, scientists from Johns Hopkins University found that antibiotic treatment can change the gut microbiome and harm people who suffer from mental disorders.
Why the microbiome has so much control over the human body is still unknown, scientists have been investigating this mystery for decades.
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