Protein in Red Blood Cells May Prevent Cognitive Decline
A research article published in June 2021 found a connection between age-related cognitive performance deterioration and a protein found in red blood cells. The study revealed that mice depleted of the ADORA2B protein exhibited auditory processing delays, rapid memory loss, and increased brain inflammation.
As a person grows older, the amount of oxygen in the blood decreases. Researchers hypothesized that ADORA2B (which helps to release oxygen from the blood to be used by the body) could help to reduce cognitive decline. To test out the theory, they compared physiological and behavioral measures in mice with and without the protein in the blood.
As a result, the researchers determined that as the specimens grew older, the markers of cognitive declines, such as hearing problems and poor memory, were more pronounced in the ADORA2B-deficient mice. Also, when young mice depleted of the protein experienced oxygen deprivation for an extended time, the physiological and behavioral impacts were considerably more prominent than in the regular group of mice.
Overall, there is promising evidence that the ADORA2B protein could counteract cognitive decline. However, more research and testing are needed before applying this type of treatment to humans.
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