Chinese Herb Improves Memory

Mannotriose, the main component of the Chinese herb Rehmannia, can improve learning and memory. This effect happens because mannotriose protects neurons in the hippocampal region of the brain from injury caused by high- concentrations of corticosterone, or cortisol, the “stress hormone” that impacts emotional memories and long-term memory. That’s the finding of Dr. Lina Zhang and colleagues from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The study was published in the journal Neural Regeneration Research.

The experiments showed that mannotriose had a neuroprotective effect in models of hippocampal neuron damage, and positively regulated intracellular protein gene expression associated with learning and memory signal transduction. The team reported that using mannotriose to treat primary hippocampal neurons “insulted with 1 × 10 mol/L corticosterone” boosted hippocampal neuron survival rates.

In addition, although protein levels of glucocorticoid receptor and other neurotropic factors were dramatically decreased after high-concentration corticosterone-induced injury, this effect was reversed by mannotriose.