Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension .
February 08 2019. A study reported on February 2, 2019 in Brain Research Bulletin  found a protective effect for supplementation with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) against a decline in synaptic plasticity in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease . The ability of the synapses (which connect nerve cells) to adapt to changes is essential to memory and learning. This synaptic plasticity decreases in the hippocampus (an organ involved in memory and learning) of the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Hamidreza Komaki and colleagues divided male rats into five groups that received injection of amyloid beta into the brain to model Alzheimer’s disease, injection of saline into the brain, CoQ10 administered by gavage once daily for six weeks, amyloid beta injected into the brain plus CoQ10 daily for three weeks before and after the injection, or daily saline administered by oral gavage. Following treatment, blood samples were analyzed for malondialdehyde (a marker of oxidative stress), total oxidant status and total antioxidant capacity, and the animals underwent electrophysiological monitoring of the brain.
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Rats that were injected with amyloid beta showed a decrease in hippocampal long-term potentiation (defined as a strengthening of synapses based on recent patterns of activity), which is a form of synaptic plasticity. However, amyloid beta-treated animals that received CoQ10 experienced less of a decline.
While amyloid beta injection was associated with an increase in malondialdehyde and total oxidant status, CoQ10 supplementation was associated with a protective effect against this increase, while boosting the animals’ total antioxidant capacity.
“Overall, the present study demonstrated that Q10 significantly improved long term potentiation by impeding amyloid beta toxicity,” the authors write. “This protective role may be because of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic activities of Q10. Therefore, Q10 is a potential neuroprotective agent against neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”