AUSTRALIA: In a recent study, scientists found that lion’s mane mushrooms enhance memory and brain cell proliferation.
Researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia say they found the active part of a food mushroom that helped neurons grow and improve people’s memories.
Professor Frederic Meunier of the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland said that the scientists had found new active chemicals in the herb Hericium erinaceus. The research work is published in the journal Neurochemistry.
Meunier states, “These ‘lion’s mane’ mushroom extracts have long been used in traditional Asian medicine, so we want to assess the potential influence on brain cells objectively.”
“Intriguingly, we discovered that the active chemicals in Hericium erinaceus have neurotrophic effects on cultured brain cells by promoting neuron projections, which stretch and link to neighbouring neurons”, Meunier added.
Researchers used super-resolution microscopy to find that the mushroom extract and its active ingredients make the growth cones much bigger. Growth cones are important for brain cells to sense their surroundings and make new connections with other neurons in the brain.
Dr Ramon Martinez-Marmol, a co-author from UQ, stated that the discovery could be used to cure and prevent neurodegenerative cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our goal was to find bioactive substances from natural sources that could enter the brain and control the proliferation of neurons, enhancing memory formation,” said Martinez-Marmol.
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