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Can Prevagen Help Improve Memory?

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on April 28th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, PharmD

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Prevagen, a dietary supplement marketed as a memory-boosting product. Prevagen claims to help support brain function, improve memory, and enhance cognitive performance.

However, there has been a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of Prevagen and its impact on memory. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind Prevagen and its effects on memory.

What is Prevagen?

Prevagen is a dietary supplement that contains a protein called apoaequorin, which is derived from jellyfish. Apoaequorin is a calcium-binding protein that is naturally found in jellyfish and is believed to help regulate calcium levels in cells.

Prevagen is marketed as a memory-boosting supplement that helps support brain function, improve memory, and enhance cognitive performance. It is available in capsule form and can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription.

The Science Behind Prevagen

The science behind Prevagen is based on the theory that as we age, our brains lose the ability to regulate calcium levels, which can lead to a decline in cognitive function, including memory loss.

Prevagen contains apoaequorin, which is believed to help regulate calcium levels in the brain, thereby improving cognitive function and memory.

However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims. While some studies have shown a modest improvement in cognitive function with the use of Prevagen, these studies have been criticized for their small sample size and lack of rigorous scientific methodology.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Prevagen's maker, Quincy Bioscience, with false and misleading advertising in 2017. The FTC alleged that the company made false and unsubstantiated claims that Prevagen improves memory and cognitive function. Quincy Bioscience ultimately settled the lawsuit for $2 million and agreed to stop making unsupported claims about Prevagen's effectiveness.

What do the experts say?

Most experts agree that there is currently not enough scientific evidence to support the claims that Prevagen improves memory or cognitive function. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has stated that "there is no convincing evidence that apoaequorin improves memory or cognitive function."

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has also stated that "there is insufficient evidence to support the use of Prevagen for any cognitive benefit." The NIA recommends that consumers consult with their healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements.

Are there medications with FDA approval for memory loss?

The currently available medications with FDA-approval to treat memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease are donepezil (Aricept), memantine (Namenda), namzaric, rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Razadyne). These medications only improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's and are not approved for use in people without Alzheimer's disease.

If you are concerned about memory loss or cognitive decline, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider. They can help determine the best course of action for your individual needs and recommend evidence-based treatments or interventions that may be more effective than dietary supplements like Prevagen.

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