Could Methylene Blue Improve Memory in Patients With Cognitive Impairment?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Timothy Q. Duong, Ph.D Stanley I. Glickman MD Professor of Ophthalmology, Radiology, and Physiology South Texas Veterans Health Care System, VA Southwest National Primate Research Center University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Texas

Dr. Timothy Duong

Timothy Q. Duong, Ph.D
Stanley I. Glickman MD Professor of Ophthalmology, Radiology, and Physiology
South Texas Veterans Health Care System, VA Southwest National Primate Research Center
University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, Texas

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A single oral dose of methylene blue increased fMRI response in the bilateral insular cortex during a task that measured reaction time to a visual stimulus. The fMRI results also showed an increased response during short-term memory tasks involving the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which controls processing of memories. Methylene blue was also associated with a 7 percent increase in correct responses during memory retrieval. The findings suggest that methylene blue can regulate certain brain networks related to sustained attention and short-term memory after a single oral low dose.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: A single oral dose of methylene blue results in an increased fMRI-based response in brain areas that control short-term memory and attention.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies should explore clinical trials to test efficacy of chronic Methylene Blue administration in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Methylene blue is cheap. Methylene blue has been used safely to treat cyanide and carbon-monoxide poisoning in emergency room and to treat chronic methhemoglobimia. Thus, it could have widespread impact if its efficacy can be demonstrated on patients with memory disorders.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Pavel Rodriguez, Wei Zhou, Douglas W. Barrett, Wilson Altmeyer, Juan E. Gutierrez, Jinqi Li, Jack L. Lancaster, Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Timothy Q. Duong. Multimodal Randomized Functional MR Imaging of the Effects of Methylene Blue in the Human Brain. Radiology, 2016; 152893 DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2016152893
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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