We aimed to investigate the impact of aging on the relationship among the composition of gut microbiota, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and the course of treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) by analyzing the datasets from our previous study. Patients with MDD were recruited, and their stools were collected at three time points (baseline, midterm, and endpoint) following the usual antidepressant treatment. Gut microbiota were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their age: the late-life group over 60 years and the middle-aged group under 60 years. GI symptoms were assessed with scores of item 11 of the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. One hundred and ninety samples were collected from 32 patients with MDD. Several gut microbes had higher relative abundances in the late-life group than in the middle-aged group. In addition, the late-life group showed significantly higher diversity in the Chao1 index at baseline compared with the middle-aged group. We further found possible microbial taxa related to GI symptoms in patients with late-life depression. The abundance of several bacterial taxa may contribute to GI symptoms in the late-life depression, and our findings suggest that the therapeutic targets for the application of gut microbiota may differ depending on the age group of patients with depression.
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