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Have green tea to boost working memory

IANS  |  London 

Have another cup of green tea after reading this, especially if you are in office. Researchers at University of Basel in Switzerland have found that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions - in particular the working memory.

The Swiss findings suggest promising clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia.

"Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain," said professor Stefan Borgwardt from Psychiatric University Clinics in Basel.

In a new study, professor Christoph Beglinger from University Hospital of Basel and professor Borgwardt found that green tea extract increases the brain's effective connectivity, meaning the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another.

This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual cognitive performance.

Subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.

For the study, healthy male volunteers received a soft drink containing several grams of green tea extract before they solved working memory tasks.

The scientists then analysed how this affected the brain activity of the men using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The MRI showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain.

These neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance of the participants.

In the past, the main ingredients of green tea have been thoroughly studied in cancer research.

Recently, scientists have also been inquiring into the beverage's positive impact on the human brain, said the study published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

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First Published: Tue, April 08 2014. 13:04 IST
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