Assessing the behavioral effects of Hericium erinaceus on a tauopathy mouse model of Alzheimer's disease



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Alzheimer's disease (AD) significantly impairs the life of an individual both cognitively and behaviorally. Tau and beta-amyloid (A?) proteins are major contributors to the etiology of AD. This study used mice modeling AD through the presence of tau pathology to assess the effects of Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus), also known as lion's mane, on behavior. H. erinaceus has shown beneficial neurocognitive and neurobiological effects in both healthy and transgenic mice. It has also been shown to lessen anxiety and depression. Until now, not enough research has been conducted on the effects of lion's mane in mice with tau pathology. It is important to assess the benefits that H. erinaceus may provide in order to prevent the progression of AD. In this study, mice were placed on a diet supplemented with H. erinaceus or a standard rodent diet in order to determine the effect of this medicinal mushroom on behavior. Behavior was assessed at 5.5 months. Results showed that H. erinaceus decreased anxiety and increased locomotor activity in the open field test and elevated zero maze but led to no improvements in spatial memory or activities of daily living. Additionally, sex effects were also seen. These results highlight the anxiolytic effects of H. erinaceus on a tauopathy model of AD, despite a lack of improvement on spatial memory and activities of daily living. Therefore, it is important to assess the behavioral and biochemical effects of H. erinaceus on models of AD and its role as a potential preventative and/or therapeutic treatment.



Alzheimer's disease, tau, Hericium erinaceus, H. erinaceus, mushroom, behavior