Green tea compounds beat OSA-related brain deficits

May 15, 2008

Chemicals found in green tea may be able to stave off the cognitive deficits that occur with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a new study published in the second issue for May of the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Researchers examined the effects green tea polyphenols (GTP), administered through drinking water, on rats who were intermittently deprived of oxygen during 12-hour “night” cycles, mimicking the intermittent hypoxia (IH) that humans with OSA experience.

People with OSA have been reported to have increased markers of oxidative stress and exhibit architectural changes in their brain tissue in areas involved in learning and memory. Chronic IH in rats produce similar neurological deficit patterns.

“OSA has been increasingly recognized as a serious and frequent health condition with potential long-term morbidities that include learning and psychological disabilities […],” wrote David Gozal, M.D., professor and director of Kosair Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the University of Louisville, lead author of the article. “A growing body of evidence suggests that the adverse neurobehavioral consequences imposed by IH stem, at least in part, from oxidative stress and inflammatory signaling cascades.”

GTPs are known to possess anti-oxidant properties, acting as a free radical scavengers, and research has shown that the compounds may reduce the risk of a variety of different diseases.

“Recent studies have demonstrated the neuroprotective activity of GTP in animal models of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease,” wrote Dr. Gozal.

In this study, the researchers divided 106 male rats into two groups that underwent intermittent oxygen depletion during the 12-hour “night” cycle for 14 days. One group received drinking water treated with GTP; the other received plain drinking water.

They were then tested for markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as for performance in spatial learning and memory tasks—namely a water “maze” in which the rat had to memorize the location of a hidden platform.

The IH-rats that received the green tea-treated water performed significantly better in a water maze than the rats that drank plain water. “GTP-treated rats exposed to IH displayed significantly greater spatial bias for the previous hidden platform position, indicating that GTPs are capable of attenuating IH-induced spatial learning deficits,” wrote Dr. Gozal, adding that GTPs “may represent a potential interventional strategy for patients” with sleep-disordered breathing.

Source: American Thoracic Society

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planet

Jan 23, 2014

Mention the word biodiversity to a city dweller and images of remote natural beauty will probably come to mind – not an empty car park around the corner. Wildlife, we think, should be found in wild places, ...

Australia's critically endangered animal species

Dec 06, 2012

Australia has 96 critically endangered animal species, listed below. Over the coming months, we will be publishing a profile of each of them, looking at the threats to their survival, what's being done to ...

Spectacular discoveries in New Guinea

Jun 27, 2011

A frog with fangs, a blind snake and a round-headed dolphin are among more than 1,000 new species recently found on the incredible Melanesian island of New Guinea, environment group WWF said.

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

patnclaire
not rated yet May 15, 2008
How much GTP did they get in human-equivalent?

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.