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      Can gut microbiota throughout the first 10 years of life predict executive functioning in childhood?

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          Abstract

          Animal models suggest that the gut microbiota can influence cognitive development and functioning via various pathways. In line with that, a first human study found associations between infant fecal microbiota composition and cognition at 2 years of age. This longitudinal study investigated whether fecal microbiota composition in infancy and childhood is associated with executive functioning in childhood. We followed healthy individuals from birth to their 10th year of life. Executive functioning was assessed using the Digit Span working memory test at 10 years of age and the ecologically valid Behavior Rating Inventory for executive functioning at 8 and 10 years. Stool samples were collected at month 1, 3 and 4 as well as at 6 and 10 years. The V4 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA was analyzed to determine microbial composition at the genus level. Using established statistical techniques for microbiota analysis, we did not find associations between fecal microbiota composition and executive functioning after accounting for breastfeeding, maternal education, child sex and age. Our study results are most compatible with the absence or only a weak relationship between infant and childhood fecal microbiota composition and executive functioning in childhood in healthy community children.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Dev Psychobiol
          Developmental psychobiology
          Wiley
          1098-2302
          0012-1630
          Mar 2022
          : 64
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Medical Center, Donders Institute for Brain, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
          [2 ] Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
          [3 ] Department of Computing, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
          Article
          10.1002/dev.22226
          35312049
          5f3d9762-510a-4809-b417-cd3172174ce3
          History

          children's mental health,microbiome,longitudinal study,cognitive development

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