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Can the intestinal microflora affect memory?

Despite the fact that the human brain is separated from the whole body by the blood-brain barrier and located far from the digestive system, it was found that intestinal microflora affects both short-term and long-term memory.

Author: Akhmetova Aigerim 

Editor: Merentsova Anastasia 



The intestinal microflora is a collection of different bacteria that coexist with the body through symbiosis (mutually beneficial cooperation). Symbiosis is a form of relationship between organisms of different species, in which at least one of them benefits for itself. 


Normal intestinal microflora is 96-99% of beneficial bacteria. Representatives of the normal intestinal microflora include bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, eubacteria, etc. Bifidobacteria are a genus of gram-positive anaerobic bacteria, are involved in parietal digestion, and are active against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. 


The study also found that obese people can often have problems with short-term memory, which is associated with a decrease in the volume of the hippocampus and frontal regions of the brain. Transplantation of microbiota (a particle of the intestinal microflora) from obese people led to a decrease in memory indices in mice. 


These results highlight the potential therapeutic relevance of influencing the gut microbiota in memory impairment, especially in obese patients. After all, a healthy intestinal microflora is the key to a good memory.