Immunity may be linked to cognitive health

As if you need another reason to prevent your children from getting sick, new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that immune system cells in the brain are important for memory and learning as well as disease prevention.

Dr. Staci Bilbo and her team from Duke University studied the effects of illness and immune response in rats as well as their cognitive health. They found that rats that were infected with diseases while young were more likely to step back into harmful situations and exhibit impaired memory than relatively healthy rats.

They believe they can trace this back to the immune system cells called microglia that release the signaling molecule Interleukin-1 (IL-1) in response to infection. While IL-1 both responds to infection and is crucial to learning and memory, it’s also evident that too much IL-1 can impair memory and learning in lab animals.

“These findings could help us understand why some humans are more vulnerable than others to cognitive impairments from chronic infections, aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” explained an outside source, Raz Yirmiya, a professor of psychobiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “This might also lead to new approaches toward diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic procedures for these conditions.”

Make sure your children stay healthy at a young age by encouraging them to take a multivitamin. EZ Melts Children’s Multivitamin, available at Dr. Newton’s Naturals, is a tasty, easy-to-take tablet that your kids will love.

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