According to a new study published in the online journal “Radiology”, methylene blue can improve short-term memory. Also, the same research suggests that this drug may also enhance people`s attention.
For over a hundred years, Methylene blue has been used as a drug in medicine. This medicine is used by doctors to treat methemoglobinemia (a condition characterized by the blood`s inability to carry oxygen efficiently) or urinary infections.
Due to its property to enhance oxygen transportation, methylene blue can also treat carbon monoxide or cyanide poisoning. Moreover, this drug is a staining agent that doctors use to make certain tissues easier to see during an x-ray exam or surgery.
However, until recently, nobody was aware that methylene blue could improve memory.
According to a small study carried out by researchers from the University of Texas Heath Science Center (San Antonio), a single dose of this medicine proved to enhance short-term memory. Twenty-two healthy participants helped the lead author of this study and his team carry out several tests that show its efficiency.
Timothy Duong, the senior researcher in charge of this project, also used magnetic resonance imaging to monitor the brain`s activity during the trials. Apart from its positive effect on memory, this technique also revealed enhanced abilities in all participants to process visual and sensory information.
According to Timothy Duong, there was evidence dating back to 1970 that methylene blue can improve memory. However, there was no scientific proof to back up this theory.
Probably the best part is related to the fact that this drug is cheap and easy to find. Unfortunately, since the study focused on healthy people, it is too early to claim that the medicine can be used efficiently in treating memory decline. The limited scope of the survey can only invite further research to reveal the full benefits of this drug.
The full potential of methylene blue needs to be investigated to tell if its effects will remain the same in case the drug is taken for extended periods of time. However, the results of this research remain undeniable. After only one small dose, those who took the drug performed better than the others during the tests.
Compared to the participants who took a placebo, researchers observed an increased mental activity in those who took methylene blue. Also, they noticed an enhanced short-term memory and modifications in the areas related to the ability to process visual and sensory information.
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