The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)
(1) Seaford High School, Seaford, NY
Alcohol use disorder is a chronic, relapsing disease that affects millions of Americans every day. There are limited treatment options for alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Previous studies have shown that probiotics can decrease depression in rodents during maternal separation and anxiety in humans. Therefore, we hypothesized that the ethanol-withdrawn planaria who consumed probiotics would have decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by increased motility compared to the ethanol-withdrawn planaria that were not fed probiotics. The ethanol-withdrawn planaria had a statistically significant decrease in motility compared to the control group, while the planaria that consumed probiotics had no statistically significant change in motility compared to the control group. We determined that there was a statistically significant difference between the ethanol and probiotics-treated group and the control group. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between the ethanol and probiotics-treated group and the ethanol-withdrawn group, confirming our hypothesis. Although the results indicated that the consumption of probiotics were unable to significantly counteract the effects of ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria, the probiotics significantly increased the ethanol-withdrawn planaria’s motility as compared to the ethanol-withdrawn group that was not given probiotics. Given these results, probiotics have the potential to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in humans.
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