Probiotics: A New Treatment for Alzheimer’s?

In Brain Maker, we looked at the relationship between the health of the gut and that of the brain, particularly as it relates to how the gut is the origin of inflammation, a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, an inflammatory disorder. With that in mind, shouldn’t we be able to improve our gut health as a way to treat Alzheimer’s? Well, the latest science has something to say about that.

In today’s video, I’ll examine a recent study from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience that reviewed the impact of probiotic supplements on cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings are absolutely astounding.

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  • Bill Robinson

    Do you know what the “placebo” was
    made out of? Could it have been a
    sugar or starch pill?

    • TechnoTriticale

      The full paper appears to be here (PDF download available):
      http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00256/full
      Both arms got milk. The treated arm got milk with probiotic. So there was no placebo, per se.

      • Robert Stewart

        If there was no placebo, will that not weaken the analysis and results? Consider “The placebo-controlled trial “is widely regarded as the gold standard for testing the efficacy of new treatments.” (NIH: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601706/)

        • TechnoTriticale

          There arguably was a placebo: milk with nothing added, vs. milk with probiotic added. It was not a fully untreated arm, as both arms had to bear whatever confounding the milk itself presented.

          Carrier+X vs. carrier+0 is pretty much an ideal situation. Trial facilitators and subjects can’t tell the different. You get full placebo effect.

          Actual placebos are really challenging to choose, and most trials blow it, using pills or capsules containing things that are very far from inert: sugars, flours, calcium, “vegetable” oils, etc.

  • Robert Stewart

    Is there an OTC supplement, or combination of supplements, containing one or more of the probiotics used in the intervention?

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