Understanding high salt intake and its link to dementia

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Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s ability to think, remember things, and make decisions. It’s a big problem in Japan, and currently, there’s no cure.

As the world’s population gets older, finding ways to prevent and treat dementia becomes more important.

The Role of Salt in Dementia

Scientists have found a link between eating too much table salt and problems with thinking and memory. Too much salt can also cause high blood pressure.

That’s why the World Health Organization suggests people should try to eat less than 5 grams of salt per day.

Two important substances, angiotensin II (Ang II) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), help control blood pressure and fluids in our bodies.

However, we don’t fully understand how these substances might be linked to high salt intake, high blood pressure, and problems with thinking and memory.

A New Study on Salt and Dementia

A group of scientists from Japan recently published a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

They wanted to understand how high salt intake could cause high blood pressure and affect thinking and memory. They were especially interested in the interactions between Ang II, PGE2, and our brain and body.

One of the researchers, Hisayoshi Kubota from Fujita Health University’s Graduate School of Health Science, said: “Eating too much salt is seen as a risk for high blood pressure, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia.

But studies looking at the interaction between the peripheral and central nervous system have not sufficiently investigated this link.”

The study found that a protein called “tau” plays a big role in how high salt intake affects thinking and memory. Tau is a protein that’s also important in Alzheimer’s disease.

What Did The Study Find?

The scientists fed mice a diet high in salt for 12 weeks and checked their blood pressure. They also looked at how the high salt diet affected the mice’s thinking and memory, and the levels of tau in their brains.

They found that the brains of the mice fed a high salt diet had several changes at a molecular level. One of these changes was the addition of phosphate groups to the tau protein.

They also saw a decrease in phosphate groups attached to an enzyme called “CaMKII” and changes in levels of “PSD95,” both of which are important for brain signalling.

Interestingly, the scientists found that these changes were reversed when the mice were given a drug called “losartan,” which is used to treat high blood pressure.

The same happened when they removed the EP1 gene in the mice.

The Importance of This Research

This research suggests that Ang II and PGE2 could be targets for new treatments for dementia caused by high blood pressure.

Professor Mouri, another researcher involved in the study, highlights the social and economic importance of this study, saying, “The yearly cost of treating dementia in Japan is increasing quickly.

Therefore, finding ways to prevent and treat dementia is important for Japan’s rapidly aging population.”

If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and blueberry supplements may prevent cognitive decline.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and this old drug could help treat dementia.

The study was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

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