New Discoveries for Brain Health, Memory, and Learning

Andy Hab
6 min readSep 24, 2023

The amazing benefits of a compound in coffee, learning strategies, and does suppressing negative thoughts really help?

As you know I tend to take a deeper dive into various themes for subscribers at weekends but sometimes I also find that the sheer amount of research continuously published make it a hard choice of what to focus on. So, this week some updates on further benefits of coffee, learning mechanisms, and whether suppressing negative thoughts is actually good for your mental health…

New Compound in Coffee Improves Cognitive Function

I’ve reported on coffee multiple times — decades ago coffee was considered unhealthy, for reasons that in retrospect might seem absurd. But the volume of data that now supports your daily cuppa is now vast.

In this study just published from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, they investigated whether a molecule found in coffee could be beneficial to aging mice. Yup, not just normal mice, but mice that have aged and are experienced cognitive decline.

The molecule is called Trigonelline and the mice that received this over 30 days improved spatial learning and memory performance. That in itself sounds good but the researchers dug a little deeper conducting genomic wide transcription analysis i.e. looking at genetic activation patterns, to find the mechanisms. And this showed something more impressive.

They found that multiple signalling pathways were impacted. Ones that relate to:

  • Nervous system development (brain and related systems)
  • Mitochondrial function (core of cell function)
  • ATP synthesis (cellular energy)
  • Inflammation (managing infection)
  • Autophagy (re-using and re-synthesising old cells and cell parts)
  • Neurotransmitter release (brain chemicals)

That’s a pretty impressive list — this is why this translates into improved memory and spatial learning. A bunch of other processes, just about everything, actually, will be affected also by those processes.

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Andy Hab

Sharing fascinating, fun, and important knowledge on the brain and human behaviour - most days. And masters track athlete - still going strong!