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 Pregnenolone makes rats smarter 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Natural Medicine Research by . View all columns in series
Ray Sahelian Since the research on Preg and humans is limited, we'll have to rely on animal studies for the time being. Significantly lower levels of pregnenolone were found in certain parts of the brain (especially the hippocampus) in aged rats with poor performance in memory tasks compared with aged rats with higher levels of Preg in their brain. Furthermore, when the rats were given injections of Preg, their deficit was temporary corrected. The researchers state, "It is proposed that the hippocampal content of Preg plays a physiological role in preserving and/or enhancing cognitive abilitites in old animals, possibly via an interaction with central cholinergic systems. Thus neurosteroids should be further studied in the context of prevention and/or treatment of age-related memory disorders.

Vallee M, Mayo W, Darnaudery M, Corpechot C, Young J, Koehl M, Le Moal M, Baulieu EE, Rober P, Simon H. Neurosteroids: deficient cognitive performance in aged rats depends on low pregnenolone sulfate levels in the hippocampus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 23;94(26):14865-14870, 1997.

      
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 About The Author
Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He......moreRay Sahelian MD
 
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