Among those involved in psychiatric and neurological studies, little thought has been given to a potential relationship between the central nervous system and microorganisms. This in spite of the decades’-worth of information, which includes a potential link between the gut microbiome and behaviors and diseases of the brain. But new research presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) may help change that.
Janet Jansson, director of biological science at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and her colleagues discovered that transplanting Lactobacillus (a probiotic bacteria believed to be beneficial to overall health) into germ-free mice improved their memory function. Compared to near-identical mice who were bred without microbes, these animals showed signs that they had developed “a much better memory.” Additionally, the mice with enhanced memories also appeared to undergo positive metabolic changes that were brought on by Lactobacillus.