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Raising histamine levels boosts long-term memory

BS Media
By BS Media Twitter Profile
Published: Wednesday, 09 January 2019
According to a fascinating new study, taking a drug that increases amine levels in the brain could improve performance in long-run memory tests.

Histamine granules inside a mast cell.

Histamine carries out multiple roles in the body.

Perhaps most celebrated for its role in the immune system, amine besides helps regulate gut function and Acts of the Apostles as a neurotransmitter.

Thanks to their role in allergic reactions, medications that reduce amine levels — antiamines — are commonplace.

Drugs that boost amine levels are less common, but doctors sometimes order them to treat dizziness.

According to the latest study, nevertheless, amine-boosting drugs mightiness, one day, become more prevalent.

Histamine and memory

Over recent decades, researchers have incontestable an absorbing relationship between accrued amine and improvements in memory. nevertheless, presently , they do not fully understand the interaction.

Researchers hope that by perusal the interaction between the two, they mightiness glimpse innovative shipway of treating individuals with impaired memories, so much as dementia.

A new study set out to unwrap some other layer of this phenomenon. The scientists wanted to understand how amine impActs of the Apostles long-run memory.

The team was headed up by professor. Yuji Ikegaya and Hiroshi Nomura, Ph.D., from the University of Tokyo in Japan. This week, the journal Biological psychopathology published the findings.

To investigate, they recruited 38 males and females, all in their mid-20s. The researchers asked the participants to memorise images of everyday objects, so much as wristwatches and glasses.

A few years later, they tested the participants. The researchers showed them some of the original images mixed in with some that they had not seen before. The researchers asked the participants to identify which of the pictures they had seen in the initial session.

Then, 7–9 years later, the researchers tested the participants once again. nevertheless, this time, before the trial, the participants took either a placebo or a drug that boosted amine levels in the brain.

Memory boosted but not for all

As expected, amine did have a positive impact on some participant's memory test tons. For individuals with poorer memories, the amine boost helped them to recognize more images than they did in the first round of tests.

It is besides worth noting that amine only boosted long-run memory — it did not improve any other psychological feature abilities.

One finding from the study is especially intriguing. The researchers showed the participants a particular image. nevertheless, a few years later, they failing to remember seeing that image. Then, around 1 week later, after amine treatment, they were able to recall that they had seen the image.

"To any students thinking about exploitation this drug as a study aid, I must warn them to first alshipway protect their health, and second to realize that we have not tested whether this drug helps anyone learn or memorise new things."

Author, professor. Yuji Ikegaya

nevertheless, not all individuals saw an improvement. Those who had performed best in the pre-medication memory tests saw a drop in performance after amine treatment.

And, for all participants, whether high or low scorers, images that were easiest to recall in the pre-medication trials became harder to remember after boosting amine levels.

The researchers believe that this amazing contradiction mightiness involve thing called random resonance.

Stochastic resonance

If a signal is too weak for a observeor to observe, random resonance can help boost it. It works by adding white noise to the signal. The original signal's frequencies resonate with the white noise, lifting it above the rest of the white noise, making it easier to observe.

professor. Ikegaya and his colleagues believe that memory works in two shipway; first, it is a "digital" system — yes or no — it is possible to recall the memory, or it is not.

At the same time, the brain can store information as a gradient — nerves do not fire until activity levels reach a certain threshold. Before reaching this threshold, we cannot remember, but once the levels have exceeded the threshold, we can.

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The scientists think that amine mightiness push the gradient past the point that triggers the neurons to fire. In this way, a latent memory — a stored memory that we cannot access — becomes accessible.

Conversely, if a memory is not yet above the gradient, adding extra amine produces too much noise, and the extra nerve activity hinders memory recall.

Increasing gnawer memory

In some other part of their experiment, the researchers studied mice. If a mouse has two toys — one that is familiar and one that is new — they will preferentially play with the new one. nevertheless, after 3 years, the mice forget which is the newest and give the toys equal attention.

Knowing this, the researchers treated mice with 1 of 2 amine-boosting drugs: thioperamide or betahistine.

After treatment, rather than forgetting the new toys inside 3 years, they remembered them for 28 years. The effect on memory did not last indefinitely, though — on day 29, they, once once again, treated all toys as new.

When they took a look at the brains of the mice, they saw that amine levels were particularly high in a region called the perinasal cortex.

This area of the brain is involved in process observeory information, perception, and is vital for memory.

Although this avenue of research is comparatively new, the scientists hope that it could have wider implications. Understanding how amine influences recall mightiness help design treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

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Raising histamine levels boosts long-term memory
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