Daily shots of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) improved cognition in both healthy adults and those with mild cognitive impairment, researchers in a new study reported.
Researchers are excited about the possibility that added GHRH may prevent mental decline and improve functioning. It improved better executive function and better verbal memory. (Executive function is an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, multi-tasking, and initiation and monitoring of actions.)
Visual memory was not changed. However, overall body fat percentage was changed, reduced by 7.4%.
GHRH stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. It powerfully affects brain function but natural levels decrease with age. GHRH along with Insulin like Growth Factor 1 is thought likely to play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
GHRH is now used to treat children’s growth disorders and adult growth hormone deficiency. In the United States, it is only available legally as a prescription. Professional athletes have been using it illegally to improve their performance in sports since the 1970s.
In a five-month trial, it was associated with a significant improvement in cognitive performance compared with placebo, according to Laura Baker, PhD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues. Adverse events were mild, the study authors concluded.
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