MELBOURNE, Feb. 11 (PTI) Researchers have found that lion’s mane mushroom improves brain cell growth and memory, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia have identified an active compound in edible mushrooms that boosts nerve growth and boosts memory in preclinical trials, the study said.
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Professor Frederic Meunier from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute said the team had discovered new active compounds from Hericium erinaceus. The study was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry.
“Extracts from these so-called ‘lion’s mane’ mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine in Asian countries for centuries, but we wanted to scientifically determine their potential effects on brain cells,” Meunier said.
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“Preclinical tests have found that lion’s mane mushroom has a significant effect on the growth of brain cells and improves memory.
“Laboratory tests measured the neurotrophic effects of compounds isolated from Hericium erinaceus on cultured brain cells, and surprisingly, we found that the active compounds promote neuronal projections that elongate and connect to other neurons.
“Using super-resolution microscopy, we found that mushroom extracts and their active ingredients largely increased the size of growth cones, which is especially important for brain cells to sense their environment and make new connections with other neurons in the brain,” Meunier said. .
Co-author Dr Ramon Martinez-Marmol, of the University of Queensland, said the findings had applications in the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our idea was to identify bioactive compounds from natural sources that could reach the brain and regulate neuronal growth, thereby improving memory formation,” Martinez-Marmol said.
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