Cocoa Flavanols May Reverse Age-Related Memory Decline
Age-related memory decline may be reversed with high doses of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols, US researchers have discovered in findings that establish the dentate gyrus as central to cognitive decline.
“Together, these results provide evidence that age-related changes in the DG [dentate gyrus] observed in aging humans underlie and drive a hippocampal-dependent component of cognitive aging,” the investigators write.
Discussing the motivation for the study, lead researcher Scott Small, MD, Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in the Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City. “Over the last 10 years or so, there have been a lot of observational studies that have suggested that the dentate gyrus, which is a region within the hippocampus, is linked to aging and age-related memory decline.”
However, he noted: “That’s just been correlational, so the real motivation here was to rely on flavanols, which previous mouse studies have established increase function selectively in the dentate gyrus, and see if we could show that [effect] in humans, in an effort to establish a causal link between the dentate gyrus and aging.”
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