About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Can a Sports-cheat Drug Improve Memory Function?

by Hannah Punitha on September 9, 2008 at 4:57 PM
Font : A-A+

 Can a Sports-cheat Drug Improve Memory Function?

A banned drug used by athletes for performance enhancement has been found to improve memory, say a group of researchers, who suggest that erythropoietin (EPO) may hold prospects for the treatment of certain brain ailments.

The research, which has been published in the open access journal BMC Biology, shows that the memory enhancing effects of erythropoietin (EPO) are not related to its effects on blood production but due to direct influences on neurons in the brain.

Advertisement

The findings may prove useful in the treatment of diseases affecting brain function, such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's.

Patients given EPO to treat chronic kidney failure had been observed to have improved cognition after starting the drug.

"These effects of EPO were thought to result from the blood-boosting effects of the drug, but the finding of receptors for EPO on nerve cells in the brain suggests that some other mechanism might be involved," explains Hannelore Ehrenreich at the Max Planck Institute.
Advertisement

To investigate the mechanisms of EPO-enhanced cognition, the researchers injected mice with EPO every other day for three weeks (11 doses) to test the effects of long-term exposure. After the treatment period, mice given EPO had better memory in some situations than did mice that had been given a placebo instead.

The improvement in memory lasted up to three weeks from the last EPO dose and outlasted increased blood-cell production, but had disappeared by four weeks. Mice given three doses saw no benefit with respect to memory improvement.

"Young mice systematically treated with EPO for three weeks have improved memory, similar to the dramatic improvements observed in endurance and muscular performance athletes who use EPO to boost performance", says Ehrenreich.

The specific memory improvements were associated with the hippocampus, a structure in the brain involved in learning and memory, among other functions.

The researchers did a series of experiments on hippocampal tissue taken from the mice and found that EPO directly affected the neurons in this structure.

"EPO had pronounced effects on short-term and long-term plasticity in the hippocampus as well as on synaptic transmission", the researchers report.

"Treatment with EPO seems to increase the number of inhibitory circuits, which actually increases the efficiency of transmission of excitatory nerve impulses in specific neurons, resulting in greater short-term and long-term plasticity in memory pathways in the hippocampus," they added.

Source: ANI
SPH
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Signature Drug Toxicity Brain Exercises to Improve Memory Foods to Improve Memory Power Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) How Power Naps Help You Recharge Quick and Easy Ways to Memorize Things 7 Ways How Writing by Hand Improves Brain Power 

Recommended Reading
Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting memory and thinking and ......
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by symptoms of thought, behavior and social ......
Memory Loss may Be Prevented by Diet Rich in Fish, Meat and Milk
A diet rich in vitamin B12, which includes fish, meat and milk, may help to protect against memory ....
Twenty Minutes of Regular Physical Activity can Lead to Good Memory Function
Well, just take a walk in the neighbourhood park, for twenty minutes everyday and stave off memory ....
7 Ways How Writing by Hand Improves Brain Power
Do you want to sharpen the way your brain works? Try writing by hand to sharpen your mind and increa...
Brain Exercises to Improve Memory
An active brain can certainly help in improving memory by strengthening the connections between neur...
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Foods to Improve Memory Power
Eating healthy nutritious foods can help improve memory power and prevent brain-related illness. Eat...
How Power Naps Help You Recharge
Power naps may not be a substitute for regular restorative sleep, but they can help you recharge dur...
Quick and Easy Ways to Memorize Things
You can train your brain to memorize things faster. If you’re thinking about how to train the brain,...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use