In a study in 2013 out of Malaysia a group of scientists studied about Neurotrophic factors and how the lions mane mushroom could benefit NGF* synthesis and nerve cells. The chemical H. erinaceus contained neuroactive compounds which induced NGF*-synthesis and promoted neurite outgrowth in NG108-15 cells. The extract also enhanced the neurite outgrowth stimulation activity of NGF when applied in combination.
*Nerve growth factor (NGF)
*Neurotrophic factor A term for any of a family of substances with roles in maintenance and survival of neurons–eg, secretory proteins, nerve growth factors–see there, brain-derived growth factor, neurotrophin-3.
Hericium erinaceus, an edible and medicinal mushroom, displays various pharmacological activities in the prevention of dementia in conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The study by Junrong Zhang in 2016 explored the neuroprotective effects of H. erinaceus mycelium polysaccharide-enriched aqueous extract (HE) on an l-glutamic acid (l-Glu)-induced differentiated PC12 (DPC12) cellular apoptosis model and an AlCl3 combined with d-galactose-induced Alzheimer’s disease mouse model.In the Alzheimer’s disease mouse model, HE administration enhanced the horizontal and vertical movements in the autonomic activity test, improved the endurance time in the rotarod test, and decreased the escape latency time in the water maze test. It also improved the central cholinergic system function in the Alzheimer’s mice, demonstrated by the fact that it dose-dependently enhanced the acetylcholine (Ach) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) concentrations in both the serum and the hypothalamus. Our findings provide experimental evidence that HE may provide neuroprotective candidates for treating or preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
Memory Loss & Brain Fog:
In a 2011 a study indicated that H. erinaceus may be useful in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction. Nerve growth factor is involved in maintaining and organizing cholinergic neurons in the central nervous system. These findings suggest that H. erinaceus may be appropriate for the prevention or treatment of dementia. Mice were a peptide over the course of 23 days. Memory and learning function was examined using behavioral pharmacological methods including the Y-maze test and the novel-object recognition test. The results revealed that H. erinaceus prevented impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory induced by amyloid β(25-35) peptide. This finding indicates that H. erinaceus may be useful in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction.
Future Cancer Therapy:
In a 2018 a study talked about the use of four Basidiomycota mushrooms for the use of future cancer therapy treatments including: Fomitopsis pinicola, Hericium erinaceus, Trametes versicolor and Inonotus obliquus.
Medicinal mushrooms have been used throughout the history of mankind for treatment of various diseases including cancer. Nowadays they have been intensively studied in order to reveal the chemical nature and mechanisms of action of their biomedical capacity. Here are four mushrooms common for use in Asian and Far Eastern folk medicine we demonstrate the complex and multilevel nature of their anticancer potential, basing upon different groups of compounds that can simultaneously target diverse biological processes relevant for cancer treatment, focusing on targeted approaches specific to malignant tissues. We show that some aspects of fungotherapy of tumors are studied relatively well, while others are still waiting to be fully unraveled. We also pay attention to the cancer types that are especially susceptible to the fungal treatments.
The concept of fungal treatment officially appeared in Traditional Chinese Medicine and can be dated back to several thousand years ago. The ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia included hundreds of herbal and fungal species - the latter were considered to be the most effective natural remedies for various types of tumors. In other countries of East and Southeast Asia, mushrooms were also highly valued and rated as “beneficial to health” for centuries. Plant and fungal products were also widespread in Russia, representing the main medicinal resources until the 18th century.
Over the past 60 years, the rate of studies focusing on fungi increased exponentially, but in many areas of research mushrooms as potential source for beneficial products are still ignored. Thus, not only studies of certain fungal-derived compounds are important, but also research on complex anticancer effects caused by the combinations of molecules in their extracts is of a high interest.
They concluded the complex anticancer potential of medicinal mushrooms may be embodied not only through inhibition of certain cancer-specific processes or targeted activation of tumor-specific apoptosis, but also through indirect actions such as immunomodulation . The polysaccharide-mediated antitumor immunomodulatory action seems to be rather common for many medicinal mushrooms and gives a major input into the therapeutic potential of at least three out of the four reviewed species, which is probably determined by similar carbohydrate composition and thus similar effects on the immune system of different mushrooms. Extrapolating these data, we can suppose that other, less studied, polysaccharide-rich mushroom species could possess similar or even superior immuno-stimulatory properties. Moreover, some of additional biological activities can be used for cancer prevention, diminishing the risk of tumorigenic conditions; to such activities we can attribute antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. That is why research on whole fungal extracts (sometimes reaching to the clinical trials) and even on extracts of complex mixtures of different medicinal mushrooms are the important part of the given research field.
Regulation of Gut Flora Microbiota:
In a 2017 study by Chen Diling, found HEP3 (a single band protein) from Hericium erinaceus could improve the immune system via regulating the composition and metabolism of gut microbiota to activate the proliferation and differentiation of T cells, stimulate the intestinal antigen-presenting cells, and hence play a prebiotic role.
A 2014 study by Mohammad Azizur Rahman, Noorlidah Abdullah, and Norhaniza Aminudin demonstrated that the different solvent partitioned fractions of lion's mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus, possess prowess for preventing LDL oxidation and for withstanding HMG Co-A reductase activity. These august findings suggest strongly that this mushroom species could aid greatly in preventing oxidative stress-induced atherosclerotic pathogenesis (Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease) and thus is of immense importance for the people suffering from cardiovascular complications and strokes.
A 2015 study by Mori K, Ouchi K, and Hirasawa N, they concluded the possibility that H. erinaceus exerts anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages through the inhibition of TLR4-JNK signaling and prevents or ameliorates adipose tissue inflammation associated with obesity.
Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis:
In a 2018 study by J Med Food found chronic administration of HE showed anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Which demonstrated enhanced neurogenesis by HE treatment. Taken together, the results indicate that chronic HE administration can exert anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects, possibly by enhancing adult hippocampal neurogenesis*
*Hippocampal nuerogensis is a process in which new nerve growth occurs in an area of the brain called the hippocampus.
Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake:
In a 2010 study by Biomed Res, they observed hericenones and erinacines isolated from its fruiting body stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis, which expects H. erinaceus to have some effects on brain functions and autonomic nervous system.Our results show that HE intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety and these results suggest a different mechanism from NGF-enhancing action of H. erinaceus.
Alzheimers treatment prevention:
In a 2017 study by Junrong Zhang and others, they concluded HE protects DPC12 cells against l-Glu-induced neurotoxicity, mainly through mitochondria-related pathways. Further experiments performed in AlCl3- and d-gal-induced AD mice have confirmed HE’s protective effects, which may also involve the modulation of neurotransmitters. Our findings provide experimental evidence that HE may serve as a neuroprotective candidate for treating or preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
Parkison’s future treatments:
In this 2018 study by J Transl medicine they evaluated the molecular mechanisms underlying the roles of H. erinaceus against MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. Consequently, based on MPTP-treated mice, our results imply the possibility of a toxic effect of MPTP, a food provided by the mushroom components of H. erinaceus, on N2a cells and enable the evaluation of the protective ability and the underlying mechanisms against MPP+ cytotoxicity. In vivo study demonstrated that H. erinaceus mycelium decreased the brain dopamineneuronal loss and motor function. Our study showed that erinacine A inhibited the neuron cell apoptosis as a result of oxidative stress signaling and the JNK/p38/NF-κB/CHOP/Fas/Bax pathways (Fig. 8). These results provide insights into the neuroprotective activity of erinacine A of the Hericium erinaceus mycelium, which thus may be promising candidates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkison’s disease.