A team of researchers from Niigata, Japan, have demonstrated the beneficial effects of Inonotus obliquus (Chaga mushroom) on cognitive function in amnesic mice. Chaga has been shown in previous studies to display therapeutic effects such as anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity, however, no study has been performed to evaluate whether treatment with Chaga has an anti-amnesic potential.
In order to assess this, mice were subject to scopolamine-induced amnesia. The methanolic extract of Chaga (MEC) was then administered orally to the mice over 7 days, and cognitive functions were assessed by various tests including passive avoidance task (PAT) and Morris water maze (MWM) methods. These tests indicated a significant improvement in learning and memory, furthermore, biochemical tests showed that MEC treatment resulted in a decrease in AChE activity and also significantly reduced oxidative-nitritive stress, demonstrated by a decrease in malondialdehyde and nitrite levels in a dose dependent manner.
This study shows that the significant cognitive enhancement observed in mice after MEC administration is closely related to higher brain anti-oxidant properties and inhibition of AChE activity.
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Amelioration of scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative stress by Inonotus obliquus – a medicinal mushroom, Vijayasree Vayalanellore Giridharan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam Thandavarayan and Tetsuya Konishi, Food Funct., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/c1fo10037h