The latest health scare, according to new research at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City blasts: How salt hurts the brain!
Scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City fed mice eight to 16 times their normal salt intake. Within eight weeks, the scientists observed a dramatic drop in blood flow to the cortex and hippocampus. These regions of the brain are associated with memory and learning.
After three months, the mice were suffering from cognitive decline and struggled to navigate a maze and respond normally to stimulation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, even if salt doesn’t increase blood pressure, mice with normal blood pressure experienced these changes in brain function. Researchers discovered that excessive salt intake triggered an immune response in the rodents’ small intestine, which increased levels of the pro-inflammatory protein interleukin-17, which impaired the function of blood vessels in the mice’s brains.
The researchers believe their finding likely apply to people as well.
If there is any good news in this research is that the brain function of the mice was restored when the mice returned to a normal diet.
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