help combat some of the symptoms and underlying causes of dementia and Alzheimer's disease as well as peripheral neurological dysfunction.
Dr. Hirokazu Kawagishi of Shizoka University Japan, a recognized authority on Lion's Mane for the past 15 years, showed the mushroom to have the remarkable activity of stimulating the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). A lack of NGF is considered one of the major causes of Alzheimer's disease.
What is NGF? NGF is a protein molecule that was discovered by Rita Levi-Montalcini and isolated by Stanley Cohen, for which they jointly recieved the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine. It is synthesized in minute amounts in all vertebrate tissues.
Dr. Mark Tuszynski of University of California, San Diego explains that NGF is the prototype of the neurotrophion family of polypeptides. They play an essential role in the differentiation and survival of several nerve cell populations in the peripheral and central nervous system.
NGF as a protein, however, cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier, the semi-permeable membrane between the blood and brain, which allows only small, lipid soluble molecules to pass through it. NGF is too large to permeate the membrane; so in a brain with diminishing amounts of NGF, how do we maintain an adequate amount to support healthy neuron repair and renewal?