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Probiotics may help Alzheimer's sufferers

By Jane Kirby

Published 11/11/2016

Probiotics help improve cognition, it is claimed
Probiotics help improve cognition, it is claimed

Probiotics may help improve thinking and memory skills among people with Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.

A new study found that taking the supplements - which are available as drinks and pills - for just 12 weeks were linked to "moderate but significant" improvements in cognitive function scores.

The small study on 52 men and women with Alzheimer's disease saw half consume a daily 200ml milk drink enriched with four probiotic bacteria. The other half of the group had a daily milk drink containing no probiotics.

Before the start of the study, the participants gave blood samples and were tested for cognitive function using a standardised questionnaire. All the tests were repeated after the 12 week study.

The results showed that the average score on the questionnaire significantly increased in the treatment group, from 8.7 to 10.6, out of a maximum of 30. There were no improvements in the non-treatment group (scores fell from 8.5 to 8.0).

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