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Boosting Histamine Helps Memory Recall

Alzheimers-Research-UK-logoResearchers in Japan have investigated the role of histamine in retrieving memories, finding that boosting histamine has some positive effects in both mice and people, helping them to remember objects. The study is published today (8 January) in Biological Psychiatry.

Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“While many people will be familiar with histamine in relation to hayfever and rashes, it also has a role in the brain influencing sleep and alertness. This study shows that altering the histamine system in the brain can have some small benefits in how people recognise pictures, but not other types of memory or thinking skills. Studies like this help scientists understand how the brain works, but it’s unclear whether this approach could be used as an effective medicine in Alzheimer’s. Boosting histamine levels is a strategy that has been explored over a decade ago in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, where sleep disturbances outweighed the small benefits in memory skills, meaning that these didn’t make successful medicines.”

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