Protecting the 'middle-aging' brain: Combination herbal extract might help

Writing in the journal Nutritional Neurosciences​, researchers from the NeuroHealth Lab at Central Queensland University (Australia), reported findings from a four-week supplement intervention and two-week follow-up study that assessed changes in affect, cognition, cerebral hemodynamic response and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in a healthy group of adults between the ages of 35 and 65. 

The study builds on previous Usana-funded research​ showing that acute supplementation with the branded blend (Usana CopaPrime+) improved mental efficiency, accuracy and response times during mentally demanding tasks in a group of healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 60.

An amenable shift in brain aging 

According to a recent review entitled “The ‘middle-aging’ brain”​ by neuroscientists at the University College Cork and the University of Amsterdam, middle age is an understudied period of life but is increasingly thought to mark a possible shift in brain aging that is still amenable to intervention.

“The fifth and sixth decades of human life are emerging as being more than a mere interlude between adulthood and advanced age,” they wrote. “Instead, non-linear trajectories at multiple levels of biology suggest that the brain may go through a phase of ‘middle aging.’ Ultimately, these changes could shape future cognitive aging.” 

Gradual and individual biological changes in gene regulation are attributable to factors like stress, damage and menopause, affecting functions like reaction time, memory and communication between different areas of the brain.