After examining the existing possibilities, it appears to us that phosphatidylserine is the only natural molecule that benefits from numerous clinical studies showing a significant improvement in cognitive and behavioural performance, and particularly in memory. Its use is entirely free of side effects. We will discuss the cellular effects, then the clinical benefits of phosphatidylserine supplementation to prevent memory loss.
What is the role of phosphatidylserine in neurons?
The health of the brain's cell membranes is crucial for proper neurological function. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid found in all cells but in particularly high concentrations in the cell membranes of the brain.
We have shown the physiological effects of phosphatidylserine on the functioning of neurons involved in memory. The effect of phosphatidylserine supplementation is to restore fluid and functional membranes, which leads to a physiological improvement in the metabolism of neuronal exchanges:
In the background :
Representation of networks of neurons interacting with each other at the level of synaptic contacts. The synapses are represented in the manner of "suction cups"!
In the foreground, in blue: detail of a transmitter neuron, with
-top: its electrically conductive fibre (axon) and then its synaptic saterminisin, described as a mushroom or flower bud, with the release of neurotransmitters (de-escalated into bags of blue beads) captured by the receiving neuron.
-bottom: detail of the membrane of a receptor neuron
Membrane phospholipids are reorganised. High phosphatidylserine content shown in red, close to the receptors (purple).
Consequence: promotes the quality of the message transmission.
Biological functions of phosphatidylserine.
The only negatively charged phospholipid, phosphatidylserine is preferentially associated with trans-membrane proteins. This systematic protein/phosphatidylserine association gives it a unique range of structural and regulatory functions.
Phosphatidylserine both interacts with membrane-associated proteins and modulates the activity of receptors, enzymes, transporters, ion channels, and other neuronal signalling molecules.
With Phosphatidylserine (drawn in red), neuronal membranes become fluid and functional again and help combat memory loss. The optimal activity of the membrane receptors is restored by supplementing with phosphatidylserine.
Design of a high performance membrane:
The phospholipid bilayer is of very good quality and rich in phosphatidylserine (in red)...
...the trans-membrane receptor (purple) is correctly positioned in the membrane
Consequence: good quality of message reception
General physiological activating effects
Re-activation effects have been demonstrated on several types of neurotransmissions:
1. ACETYLCHOLINE, a neuromediator essential for a wide range of functions, including memory
2. DOPAMINE, a neuromediator, mood regulator that controls physical sensation and movement, and is involved in memory.
3. GLUTAMATE, an essential neuromediator for learning and memory.
Details of synaptic transmission
The different neurotransmitter species (chemical messengers) are represented as blue or green bead bags.
Release of the message by the sending (pre-synaptic) neuron and reception by the post-synaptic neuron
In the brain, phosphatidylserine affects a wide variety of neural cell functions including nerve impulse conduction, accumulation, storage and release of neurotransmitters, the activity of a number of receptors involved in synaptic discharge and the biological maintenance of cell housekeeping functions.
Translations of these experimental studies are available in the studies tab.
Numerous international medical studies (United States1 2 , Italy3 etc.) have tested the efficacy and tolerance of phosphatidylserine in thousands of people with age-related memory disorders and cognitive deficits of various degrees over the last 25 years. These randomised, controlled, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have been published in leading medical journals such as Neurology.
This work tends to demonstrate rigorously that phosphatidylserine supplementation (100 to 300 mg / day) significantly improves cognitive performance, particularly memory performance, and thus helps combat memory loss. Following a treatment with phosphatidylserine makes it possible to improve in particular the recognition of names, places and faces, as well as the search for and retention of information.
One of the positive points of phosphatidylserine, due to its nutritional principle, is the absence of medical contraindications and known drug interactions. Taking phosphatidylserine is completely free of adverse effects.
Phosphatidylserine has been widely used for many years in Europe, the United States and Japan by thousands of people. A large experience is thus available concerning its use at international level since the 1980s and 1990s.
CROOK study: phosphatidylserine (100mg or 300mg) versus placebo in a double-blind, 3-month study in 211 subjects aged 55 to 75 years. Approval of good medical practice by Hôpital Bichat (Human Nutrition Department).
Dr Crook and colleagues were particularly interested in the suitability of phosphatidylserine treatment for people with age-related memory decline. This includes people over 55 years of age who complain of memory loss. These people are clinically healthy, have perfectly good intellectual functioning, and their memory loss is considered physiological.
After three months, the supplemented patients made significant progress on three key variables: memory for names and faces, learning new names and faces, and visual recognition. The worse the baseline situation, the more significant the progress.
In addition, other improvements were noted: better ability to memorise phone numbers and the location of certain objects, more concentration for reading and conversation. Based on the improvements obtained, Dr Crook calculated that the participants' "cognitive clock" had been set back 12 years, an effect of truly significant magnitude.
(1) T.H. Crook. Treatment of Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Effects of Phosphatidylserine in Anti-Aging Medical Therapeutics, Vol II, edited by R.M. Klatz, Health Quest Publications, Chicago,1998:20-29.
(2) T.H. Crook, J. Tinklenberg, J. Yesavage, W. Petrie, M.G. Nunzi, D.C. Massari. Effects of phosphatidylserine in ageassociated memory impairment. Neurology. 1991;41:644-649.
CENACCHI study: a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of Phosphatidylserine (300 mg) administration over 6 months.
Étude randomisée menée dans 23 centres hospitaliers. Population gériatrique de 494 patients âgés de 65 à 93 ans (âge moyen 77 ans), en déclin cognitif “ modéré à sévère ”, avec évaluation du stade de gravité par le Mini Mental State : entre 10 et 23 (30 = Normal, <30 déclin cognitif). Homologation des bonnes pratiques médicales par le service de gérontologie (Hôpital de Valence)
In addition to a significant improvement in memory, these observations include behavioural improvements: with less apathy and absence on the one hand, and improved mood and anxiety symptoms and less memory loss on the other.
This research concludes that memory functions improve within 3 months, and also that there is a renewed interest in the social environment.
(8) T. Cenacchi, T. Bertoldin, C. Farina, M.G. Fiori, G. Crepaldi. Cognitive decline in the elderly: A double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on the efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 1993;5:123-133.
Translations of these clinical studies are available in thestudies tab.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Oxidation is a harmful chemical reaction that damages cells and therefore the body. It can be triggered by a multitude of factors: ageing, stress, pollution, toxins, alcohol etc...
We describe here the effect of oxidation which directly attacks the phospholipids of cell membranes (by the phenomenon of lipid peroxidation). The protective effect of vitamin E is a protective action on membrane phospholipids.
The deleterious action of free radicals against cell membranes:
The protective action of antioxidants in cell membranes: