It’s a dream come true for many college students used to late-night studying. Scientists in Germany have developed a nasal spray containing a molecule from the body’s immune system that can help the brain retain memories during sleep.
Researchers with the University of Lubeck in Germany had 17 healthy young men read either an emotional or neutral short story before bed. Each also had either a fluid containing the immunoregulatory signal interleukin-6 (IL-6) or a placebo sprayed into their nostrils before going to sleep. The next morning subjects wrote down as many words as they could remember from each of the two stories. Those who received the dose of IL-6 could remember more words.
“This is an exciting piece of interdisciplinary science, since IL-6 had previously been considered a by-product of inflammation, not an agent that affects cognition,” said Dr. Gerald Weissmann of The FASEB Journal.
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