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Ignore the swirling colors and focus. New research shows an active compound in edible mushrooms boosts nerve growth, enhances memory, and helps grow new brain cells.

Lion's mane mushroom improved brain cell growth and memory

Hericium erinaceus or lion’s mane mushroom – eat ’em up

Researchers from the University of Queensland have found a compound in the edible mushroom Hericium erinaceus that stimulates nerve growth and enhances memory. Professor Frederic Meunier from the Queensland Brain Institute revealed that the team had isolated new active compounds from the “lion’s mane” mushroom, commonly used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries.

Pre-clinical trials found that the extract from the mushroom had a major impact on the growth of brain cells and improving memory. The laboratory tests showed that the compounds isolated from the mushroom promote neuron projections, connecting them to other neurons and increasing the size of growth cones, which are critical for brain cells to sense their environment and make new connections in the brain.

Meunier said:

“Laboratory tests measured the neurotrophic effects of compounds isolated from Hericium erinaceus on cultured brain cells, and surprisingly we found that the active compounds promote neuron projections, extending and connecting to other neurons. Using super-resolution microscopy, we found the mushroom extract and its active components largely increase the size of growth cones, which are particularly important for brain cells to sense their environment and establish new connections with other neurons in the brain.”

The discovery has applications for treating and protecting against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The study was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry.

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Lion's mane mushroom improved brain cell growth and memory via UQ with usage type - Public Domain

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Lion's mane mushroom improved brain cell growth and memory via UQ with usage type - Public Domain

 

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