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Approved Research

Association of antibiotic exposure in early life and cognitive function/frailty

Principal Investigator: Dr Zhen Xuemei
Approved Research ID: 92597
Approval date: September 8th 2022

Lay summary

Studies show that the composition of the infant's gut microbiota changes during antibiotic treatment, and increases the risk of developing childhood disease that may persist into adulthood. It has been observed in humans that differences in, or interventions of, the gut microbiota have translated into alterations in cognitive performance. Epidemiological studies have also revealed that early-life antibiotic exposure is associated with worse cognitive outcomes in children, and causes changes in behavior. In addition, rodent studies have shown that administration of high doses of antibiotic has long-term effects on brain neurochemistry and behavior. However, to our knowledge, there are few studies examining long-term/recurrent antibiotic exposure in early life with subsequent cognitive in childhood and elder. In addition, there are no studies investigating the association between long-term/recurrent antibiotic exposure as child/teenager and frailty.

We aimed to examine the association between antibiotic exposure in early life and cognitive function in childhood and elder, whilst considering the roles of gender; and to investigate the association between antibiotic exposure in early life and frailty.

Findings will provide a better understanding of potential influencing of antibiotics throughout life, and will highlight the importance in the rational use of antibiotics for child and teenager.