Monday, June 10, 2013

Reason Suggested for GHRH's Beneficial Impact on the Senior Brain

During the past several years, Michael Vitiello, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington, and colleagues have found that injections of growth-hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) improve executive function in both healthy older subjects and in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. The results are "highly promising," Dilip Jeste, M.D., chair in aging at the University of California, San Diego, and immediate past APA President, told Psychiatric News, particularly as there are currently no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for aging-associated cognitive impairment or mild cognitive impairment.

Now Vitiello and his team report in JAMA Neurology that GHRH injections in both healthy older subjects and in subjects with mild cognitive impairment increase brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter and to also plays a role in successful cognition. Thus GHRH may enhance executive function in both healthy older adults and in adults with mild cognitive impairment by increasing GABA activity, the researchers suggest.

To learn more about GHRH's beneficial impact on healthy older individuals as well as on those with mild cognitive impairment, see Psychiatric News here. Memory training is also proving to be beneficial for people with mild cognitive impairment, and more about studies on that topic can be found in Psychiatric News here.

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