Researchers led by Professor Ailing Fu at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southwest University, China are conducting a study on a group of aged mice that were administered with low dose of levothyroxine for 3 consecutive months in order to determine whether thyroid hormone protects neuronal function and increases the survival rate of naturally aged animals.
Results showed that the aged rats exhibited an obvious improvement in cognitive and an increased rat survival rate from 60% to 93%. The underlying mechanism was demonstrated that levothyroxine treatment can increase the levels of choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholine in hippocampal neurons, which are closely related to aging and learning and memory abilities. In addition, levothyroxine also increased superoxide dismutase activity in the hippocampal neurons, improved hippocampal cytoskeletal rearrangement and advanced synapse function. These findings suggest that supplement of low-dose levothyroxine may be a potential therapeutic strategy for normal age-related cognitive deficits. These outcomes are of encouraging translational medicine significance and value. These findings were published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 8, 2014).