Participants who received hormone releasing hormone (GHRH, by its English name), rather than a placebo, performed better on tests of attention and concentration, which is what is called executive function.
Furthermore, the effects improved their daily activities, as summarized Laura Baker, a specialist in memory of the University of Washington and Puget Sound Health Care System Department of Veterans Affairs in Seattle.
“Many participants treated with injections said they felt better. When the trial ended, they wanted to know where they could get them, “said Baker, who led the study.
She then explained that the treatment is still experimental and not approved GHRH for the treatment of mental decline. Moreover, each hormone injection that producers provided free for study, costs $ 700.
A specialist from outside the research coincided with Baker.
“It’s potentially good news, but not enough for people to start using it immediately,” said Dr. Ronald C. Petersen, director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The study, published in Archives of Neurology, included 152 people between 55 and 87. Sixty-six had mild cognitive impairment, ranging from forgetfulness and dementia.
Until now, scientists had not been an effective therapy. But a recent study co-author of Baker showed preliminarily that a nasal spray insulin, a hormone that is also reinforced the memory of people with Alzheimer’s.
GHRH is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus of the brain and is associated with insulin-producing system, but also has other effects. Naturally decreases with age, which is associated with impaired memory and executive function.
In the study, participants received a daily injection of a synthetic version of the GHRH or a placebo for five months.
In the end, the group treated with the hormone performed better than the control group on psychological tests of executive function or not they had mild cognitive impairment.
It is unknown how these differences would translate into real life. The hormone-treated group was more likely to mention an increased ability to concentrate during the day.
The team found no serious adverse effects, although the hormone users were more likely to have skin reactions and pain.
Baker and Petersen agreed that more studies are needed to understand the effects of treatment in the long run.
She added that it is too early to say whether the hormone would slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects millions of people worldwide and threatens to grow exponentially due to the aging global population.