Active Compounds In Hericium Erinaceus Mushroom Boost Nerve Growth and Enhance Memory

In Education

A group of researchers at The University of Queensland has made a remarkable discovery regarding a natural compound derived from an edible mushroom that promotes nerve growth and memory enhancement.

Lion’s mane mushroom can enhance memory

According to Professor Frederic Meunier of the Queensland Brain Institute, his team has discovered novel active compounds that can enhance memory from Hericium erinaceus, a type of mushroom commonly known as “lion’s mane.”

Professor Meunier explained that for centuries, “lion’s mane” mushroom extracts have been utilized in traditional medicine throughout Asian nations, but the team’s aim was to scientifically assess its potential influence on brain cells. As per pre-clinical testing, the “lion’s mane” mushroom demonstrated a significant positive impact on the growth of brain cells and memory enhancement.

The impact of compounds derived from Hericium erinaceus on cultured brain cells was evaluated through laboratory tests to measure their neurotrophic effects. Surprisingly, the active ingredients were found to promote neuron projections that extend and connect with other neurons.

With the aid of super-resolution microscopy, it was discovered that the mushroom extract and its active components significantly enhance the size of growth cones, crucial in enabling brain cells to perceive their surroundings and establish new connections with other neurons within the brain.

Mushroom bioactive compounds can traverse the brain barrier

According to Dr. Ramon Martinez-Marmol, who co-authored the study and is affiliated with UQ, the discovery could have practical implications in the treatment and prevention of cognitive disorders that are neurodegenerative, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Martinez-Marmol explained that the aim was to uncover bioactive substances derived from natural sources that could traverse the blood-brain barrier and regulate neuron growth to enhance memory formation.

The research project was aided and cooperated with by Dr. Dae Hee Lee from CNGBio Co, who noted that lion’s mane mushrooms’ properties had been employed for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to cure illnesses and promote overall health. Dr. Lee added that the research unravels the molecular mechanism of the bioactive substances found in the lion’s mane mushroom and their impact on brain function.

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