An active compound from a mushroom, Hericium erinaceus, is found to boost nerve growth and enhance memory. Commonly known as the Lion’s Mane Mushroom, this edible mushroom is native to North America, Europe, and Asia.
Mushrooms could help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease
According to the researchers from The University of Queensland, Lion’s Mane mushrooms could help promote neurogenesis and enhance memory.
In their preclinical trials, researchers found the compound not only had a significant impact on neural growth but also enhanced memory formation. Researchers foresee these mushrooms could help in treating and preventing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
These mushrooms are used as a traditional medicine to boost the immune system and improve digestive health for centuries. However, in this study, researchers wanted to scientifically determine their potential effect on brain cells.
Professor Frederic Meunier from the Queensland Brain Institute, 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.”