An international team finds fecal transplants from older to younger mice impacts the learning and memory abilities of the recipient. By altering the gut microbiome of the younger mice, researchers say they began to act more like their older donors. These changes included some of the same cognitive impairments older brains suffer from.
"Research has shown that the aging process may be linked with age-related changes in our gut microbiota," Dr. David Vauzour from the University of East Anglia says in a release. "We wanted to see whether transferring gut microbes from older to younger mice could affect parts of the central nervous system associated with aging."
What is a fecal transplant?
Simply put, fecal transplants involve taking stool from a healthy person and placing it in the colon of someone else. In humans, the recipient is usually someone who is very sick and could have a bacterial infection.