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Brain and Mental Performance

Chemical Reverses Effects of Aging on Brain

16 years, 5 months ago

2334  0
Posted on Jun 15, 2003, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Results of a recent study in monkeys suggests that the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) may reverse age-related deterioration of the brain. GABA optimises signal transmission between brain cells transmit and also inhibits unwanted brain signalling activity. Dr Audie G Leventhal at the University of Utah School of Medicine and colleagues found that elderly monkeys given injections of GABA responded to visual patterns, such as flashing vertical and horizontal lines, in much the same way as young monkeys did.

Results of a recent study in monkeys suggests that the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) may reverse age-related deterioration of the brain. GABA optimises signal transmission between brain cells transmit and also inhibits unwanted brain signalling activity. Dr Audie G Leventhal at the University of Utah School of Medicine and colleagues found that elderly monkeys given injections of GABA responded to visual patterns, such as flashing vertical and horizontal lines, in much the same way as young monkeys did. Whereas old monkeys not treated with GABA found the task. The findings suggest that GABA boosting drugs may help to combat age-related cognitive decline. Leventhal noted that benzodiazepines, such as valium, work by increasing GABA levels, and that these approved drugs may be of benefit for treating age-related cognitive decline.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Science 2003;300:812-815.

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