PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Boost your memory with help from a jellyfish. This could be a way to avoid those brain freeze moments we’ve seen recently from some politicians.
On the campaign trail, brain freeze moments can be especially public and embarrassing.
“I think it happens to everybody,” said Matthew Hamilton, from the Devon area.
At any age a memory lapse can strike. Experts say stress and being overly tired can compound the problem.
“I hate it. I have them a lot,” said Mari Pizur, of Scranton.
“When you have kids, they drain your memory,” said Maggie Hertzler, of Morgantown.
Now jellyfish, of all things, might be able to help with memory problems. Yes, jellyfish, like the ones on display at the Adventure Aquarium.
“Yeah, I’d like to learn a little more about it,” said Christopher Gettis, of Langhorne.
Jellyfish are partially made of something called apoaequorin. It’s a calcium binding protein that’s also critical to human brain cells.
“By utilizing this jellyfish protein and sort of replacing it into the human brain and body, we’re able to see memory improvement,” said Mark Underwood, the president of Quincy Bioscience which makes Prevagen – a supplement that contains the brain boosting jellyfish protein. He says they have scientific studies showing it works.
“We’ve demonstrated that it helps to improve memory,” said Mark.
“I think it’s intriguing. I think it’s very preliminary,” said Dr. Melissa Carran, a neurologist at Cooper University Hospital. She says there’s not enough research on Prevagen to know if it really can help cognitive functioning. She says exercise is the one thing that’s proven to improve memory.
“I would say to a skeptic, the research is there. The only thing you can do is try it,” said Ria Gilday, who practices alternative medicine. She says Prevagen helps her think more clearly, and she also recommends it to people she sees who want to improve their memories.
“Everybody seems to benefit from it,” said Ria.
While the effectiveness of Prevagen is debated, there’s no evidence it can be harmful.
It costs $40 for a months supply in stores and is available at Walgreens.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3