Vascular Dementia is the second-most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease and the researchers decided to see if probiotics could make any inroads. Vascular Dementia (VaD) occurs when, due to a blocked or diseased vascular system, the cerebral blood supply is lessened, causing a decline in memory and cognitive function, according to a study conducted by a collaboration of Chinese universities.
The researchers say that a couple mechanisms that could cause VaD are oxidative stress and apoptosis. We know that there is a connection between the gut and the brain and that probiotics can heal and promote health in the gut. Studies have shown that factors in the brain can affect the gut, but studies are lacking showing how the gut affects the brain.
The study looked at the probiotic Clostridium butyricum,due to its gut-regulating properties.
Groups of mice were studied using the Morris Water Maze that helps test cognitive function and following a slew of other tests, the study indicated a neuroprotective effect in mice model of VaD with concomitant improvement of motor functions.
This study is groundbreaking because it is the first time that VaD has been associated with the gut microbiota. The study showed that the probiotic could increase cognitive function associated with VaD through the gut-brain axis.
The study shows promise for the probiotic Clostridium butyricum in human patients with Vascular Dementia, but further studies will have to be conducted as this study was conducted using only mice.