A new study found that daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages during adolescence results in poor performance in learning and memory tasks during adulthood. Based on a rodent model and published in the journal Translational Psychiatry on 31 March, the research also suggests that changes in gut bacteria may be the key to the sugar-induced memory impairment observed. Additional analyses determined that high sugar consumption led to elevated levels of Parabacteroides, a group of bacteria found in the gut. To further understand the link between gut bacteria to memory and learning impairments, researchers experimentally increased levels of Parabacteroides in the microbiome of rats that had never consumed sugar. Their results showed that these animals developed impairments in both hippocampal-dependent and hippocampal-independent memory tasks.