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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2001 Jun;25(4):311-23.

Cognitive effects of insulin in the central nervous system.

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  • 1Research Service, James A. Haley Veteran's Hospital, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Evidence has been accumulating recently that the hormone insulin may modulate cognitive activity by acting in the central nervous system. Initially derived from the observation that insulin and insulin receptors are found in specific brain areas, this evidence also includes cognitive assessments of humans in insulin-deficient and insulin-resistant disease states and experimental manipulation of rodent models. Additional support is derived from in vivo and in vitro systems that are used to investigate the neurophysiological basis of learning and memory. This article is a brief review of the literature that suggests a connection between insulin and memory and draws together some of the findings relevant to possible physiological mechanisms for this cognitive effect.

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