Hydrogen has been reported to have neuron protective effects due to its antioxidant properties, but the effects of hydrogen on cognitive impairment due to senescence-related brain alterations and the underlying mechanisms have not been characterized. In this study, we investigated the efficacies of drinking hydrogen water for prevention of spatial memory decline and age-related brain alterations using senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 (SAMP8), which exhibits early aging syndromes including declining learning ability and memory. However, treatment with hydrogen water for 30 days prevented age-related declines in cognitive ability seen in SAMP8 as assessed by a water maze test and was associated with increased brain serotonin levels and elevated serum antioxidant activity. In addition, drinking hydrogen water for 18 weeks inhibited neurodegeneration in hippocampus, while marked loss of neurons was noted in control, aged brains of mice receiving regular water. On the basis of our results, hydrogen water merits further investigation for possible therapeutic/preventative use for age-related cognitive disorders.
2010 by The Editorial Secretariat of JCBN