Histamine is said to carry out different roles in your body. The most famous of them is its importance in the immune system. Other than this, histamine helps in the regulation of gut functions and also works as a neurotransmitter.
Due to its specific role in allergic reactions, medicines that decrease the levels of histamine, called as the antihistamines, are quite common.
On the other hand, drugs that increase the levels of this agent are quite less. These medicines are commonly prescribed by doctors in order to manage dizziness.
As per the latest study, such histamine-boosting medicines may play a far more important role someday.
The Association of Histamine with Memory
Over the past few years, the researchers have established an interesting association between the histamine levels and memory. However, the complete interaction is yet to be known.
Researchers are hopeful that they might be able to discover new ways of treating those with memory impairments once they get to know about this interplay.
The new research was set out to discover the mystery of this phenomenon. The scientists were curious to know how histamine works to improve long-term memory. The study was published in a journal named Biological Psychiatry.
In order to investigate, the scientists recruited 38 participants, both males and females, all of which were in their mid-20s. These participants were asked to memorize images of daily objects such as glasses and wristwatches.
After a few days, the participants were tested. The scientists showed them the images of the objects they had memorized mixed with some which were not previously seen by them. The participants were then asked to identify which of them they had already seen in previous sessions.
This was followed by another test, about 7 to 9 days later. Before conducting this test, the scientists asked the participants to either take a histamine-boosting drug or a placebo.
As the scientists expected, histamine was found to play a positive role in boosting the scores of a memory test in some patients. For people having poorer memories, this agent helped them memorize and identify images that they had seen in the initial sessions.
It was also important to mention that while histamine boosted the long-term memory in these patients, no improvement was seen in any other cognitive abilities.
A particular finding of this study was rather intriguing. The scientists displayed a certain image to the participants during the first session. However, none of the participants failed to identify that image a few days later.
Later, when they were treated with histamine, they were able to recall seeing it.
The scientists have, however, warned the students who wish to use this drug to aid in the study to always protect their health. They also mentioned that it was not tested whether this drug could help people memorize new things.
It is also worth mentioning that not all the individuals suffered from an improvement in memory. In fact, those who performed best in the test conducted before the medication session were found to show poorer performances later on.
This avenue of research is innovative and new, yet scientists believe it to hold broad implications such as in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s.