Flavonoids and cognition: the molecular mechanisms underlying their behavioural effects

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Reading

Abstract

Evidence suggests that a group of phytochemicals known as flavonoids are highly effective in reversing age-related declines in neuro-cognitive performance through their ability to interact with the cellular and molecular architecture of the brain responsible for memory and by reducing neuronal loss due to neurodegenerative processes. In particular, they may increase the number of, and strength of, connections between neurons, via their specific interactions with the ERK and Akt signalling pathways, leading to an increase in neurotrophins such as BDNF. Concurrently, their effects on the peripheral and cerebral vascular system may also lead to enhancements in cognitive performance through increased brain blood flow and an ability to initiate neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Finally, they have also been shown to reduce neuronal damage and losses induced by various neurotoxic species and neuroinflammation. Together, these processes act to maintain the number and quality of synaptic connections in the brain, a factor known to be essential for efficient LTP, synaptic plasticity and ultimately the efficient working of memory.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Volume492
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Animals, Behavior, Animal, Cognition, Flavonoids, Hippocampus, Humans, Neurogenesis, Neuroprotective Agents, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review