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Active ingredient against the process of the forgetfulness of age in the test
The older people become, the higher the level of forgetfulness increases. It's a shame not to know what happened two weeks ago. Why the forgetfulness increases steadily in old age is still not fully understood. Researchers at Yale University in the United States used a study to try to shed some light on the subject. The main question was whether a designated active ingredient can regain memory. The animal study was carried out on monkeys of different ages.
Information processing in the brain slows down
The older a person gets, the more forgetful he becomes. In the medical community, this process is called “forgetfulness in old age” (slight cognitive limitations). It makes no difference what gender you are. Scientists at Yale University have now tested a new active ingredient that is said to at least slow down the process. Why the memory diminishes over time has not yet been clearly clarified. The only thing that has been proven is that the signal transmission in older people's brains decreases less well. "The neural connections between the nerve cells in the brain are increasingly weakened." The scientific team was particularly interested in the cellular mechanisms that underlie this deterioration. The focus was on the prefrontal cortex (anterior region of the cerebral cortex), since this area is responsible for a functioning memory. Brain experts also call this area "brain memory". As with a computer, the memory must be kept up to date at all times. The neurons must always be in action for this process.
Active substance suppressed production of molecules
The researchers observed that the neurons were significantly less active in the older animals than in young animals. It could be seen that so-called cAMP molecules (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) accumulate in the anterior part of the cerebral cortex in the old experimental animals. These molecules in turn weaken the transmission of the information to the neurons. In the second trial, active substances were administered to the monkeys to suppress the production of the molecules. One substance of this was "guanfacin", which is already prescribed in the conventional medicine for hypertension and the attention deficit disorder in the USA. Indeed, the conductivity of the neurons improved after the spread. This created “a neurochemical environment” in the older animal subjects, which is similar to that of young animals and blocked the ion channels. In further test series, clinical tests will now follow the animal experiment, which will test the active ingredient guanfacine in humans. The study participants should not suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's, but should have reached the senior age. This series of experiments is already in preparation.
Age forgetfulness versus dementia
Age forgetfulness means a slight cognitive impairment. This manifests itself in everyday life with memory disorders and a reduced ability to concentrate on tasks for a long time. The vocabulary and the ability to speak are excluded. Nevertheless, patients often withdraw from their social environment and avoid stress, because fast information processing is required here. Forgetfulness in old age should not be confused with dementia. The latter includes far more massive disruptions and restrictions. In addition, the forgetfulness of age no longer progresses from a certain age.
Countering the aging process with natural medicine
Ginkgo extracts are administered in naturopathy to reduce the aging process. Because in the course of aging oxygen radicals are released, which have a toxic effect on the tissue in the body. Gingko biloba extracts can intercept these radicals. However, it is still controversial whether the medicinal plant can actually have a positive effect. The results of the study so far are contradictory. (sb)
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Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio.de