By the time a child reaches age two, they’ve usually had at least three courses of antibiotics. But a new study in the journal iScience shows that antibiotic exposure early in life could alter a child’s brain development. Antibiotics create big changes in the microorganisms that live in the body… and we’re learning that the gut is connected to the brain in powerful ways. In the study, mice given antibiotics early in life experienced altered gene expression in the brain’s frontal cortex and amygdala… areas governing emotions and cognitive function (full study).
The stress of the pandemic has led to a sharp increase in teenage eating disorders. A study in the journal Pediatrics shows that hospital admissions for adolescent eating disorders more than doubled during Covid at some hospitals… and got worse as the pandemic dragged on. The study reflects only hospitalizations, so researchers say the increase in eating disorders may actually be even worse (full study).
And finally… researchers have found a potentially lifesaving heart attack treatment in a most unusual place—the venom of a deadly spider. A study in the journal Circulation finds that a drug developed from the venom of the Fraser Island K’gari funnel web spider can break the cycle of heart cell death after a heart attack. Tests on heart cells show it may also extend the life of donor hearts used for organ transplants (full study).
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