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Eating Strawberries may boost memory

According to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, fisetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid, normally present in strawberries// and other fruits and vegetables, invigorates signaling pathways that boost long-term memory.

This study was published in this week’s Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Memory and recall miseries are common in over 30% of the people aged 60 and above. The number of cases of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is on the rise due to the increase in the average age of the U.S. population.

"Since the development of a basic understanding of the biochemical pathways involved in memory formation, the holy grail of CNS research in the pharmaceutical industry is the identification of a safe, orally active drug that activates memory-associated pathways and enhances memory," says lead author Pamela Maher, Ph.D., a researcher in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute.

Maher hit upon the beneficial effects of fisetin when she screened a collection of flavonoids, substances with anti-oxidant activities found in many plants, for their neuroprotective abilities in tissue culture models of neurodegenerative disease.

Maher found that some of those compounds, including fisetin, induced differentiation or maturation of neural cells. Maher explains, "That suggested to us that these compounds might be particularly beneficial, since they might not only protect neural cells from dying but might be able to promote new connections between nerve cells."

Interestingly the signaling pathway activated by fisetin in neural differentiation also played a role in memory formation, a process neuroscientists call "long-term potentiation" or LTP. LTP allows memories to be stored in the brain by strengthening connections between neurons. "We wanted to find out whether we could detect any effects of fisetin on long-term potentiation and th
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