Spermidine improves memory in over-60s | Pilot study
Somewhere in Europe, a trial is underway in which neurologists want to determine whether supplementation with the nutrient spermidine can improve the memory of the elderly, we wrote a few days ago. We then failed to say that the researchers had already published a pilot study in 2018. With hopeful results.
The researchers divided 28 healthy subjects aged 60-80 into 2 groups. For 3 months, one group daily took 750 milligrams of a wheat germ extract which contained 1.2 milligrams of spermidine in total. The subjects in the other group took a placebo.
All subjects complained about their memory. They felt they were starting to forget things.
Before and after the supplementation period, the researchers tested the subjects' memory performance with the mnemonic similarity task test. This meant that the subjects were shown 2 series of pictures in succession. Some of the pictures from the first series returned in the second series, some had been replaced by pictures that looked like them, and some had been replaced by completely different pictures.
When the subjects were shown the pictures from the second series, they had to indicate which picture they had seen before, which picture resembled a picture from the first series, and which picture was completely new.
The subjects in the experimental group performed a little better, the subjects in the placebo group a little less well.
"This [...] pilot trial suggests that nutritional spermidine may protect memory performance in cognitively intact older adults with subjective cognitive decline, presumably through regulating neural mechanisms in the memory system", write the researchers.
"The therapeutic potential of spermidine supplementation in persons at risk for dementia warrants further investigation and identification of possible mechanisms of action."
Randomized Controlled Trial Cortex. 2018 Dec;109:181-8.
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