Working Memory May Be Boosted by Green Tea

The team of researchers were led by Professor Christoph Beglinger and Professor Stefan Borgwardt of the University Hospital in Switzerland. They claim their discovery indicates that green could hold promise in treating cognitive impairments linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as dementia. The study was reported in the journal Psychopharmacology.

Green tea is native to China and India and is produced from the leaves of Camellia sinesis plant. Unlike other teas, green tea is extracted from unoxidized leaves. This minimal processing means it has a wealth of antioxidants.

To further their research, the investigators led a study utilizing 12 healthy male volunteers with a mean age of 24.1 years. Participants were provided with a milk whey-based drink containing 27.5 g of green tea concentrate, while others were provided a drink without the green tea compound. Volunteers were not aware of which drink they had been provided.

The participants were then required to complete an arrangement of working memory tasks. Throughout these assignments, their mental functions were measured utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The scientists discovered that the participants who consumed the drink with the green tea concentrate demonstrated expanded connectivity between the right predominant parietal lobule and the frontal cortex of the cerebrum. This action correlated with enhanced execution on the working memory tasks.

Commenting on the results, the study investigators claim,” The present study demonstrates that green tea extract enhances functional connectivity from the parietal to the frontal cortex during working memory processing in healthy controls.

Interestingly, this impact on effective connectivity was associated with the green tea induced improvement in cognitive function. Our results provide first insights into the neural impact of green tea on working memory processing at the neural network level, indicating a mechanism on short-term plasticity of interregional brain linkages.”

According to the team of investigators, since green tea seems to boost connectivity between frontal and parietal regions of the brain during working memory tasks, it is worth examining the efficacy of green tea for treating disorders relating to cognitive impairments, such as dementia.

Written by Russ Allen