Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(2):209-214. doi:10.7150/ijms.6801 This issue
1. Laboratory of Functional and Structural Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Pará, 66075-900, Belém-Pará, Brazil;
2. Laboratory Pharmacology of Inflammation and Behavior, Institute of Health Sciences, Federal University of Pará, 66075-900, Belém-Pará, Brazil;
3. Laboratory of Experimental Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Pará, 66075-900, Belém-Pará, Brazil.
Several studies have demonstrated that chewing helps to maintain cognitive functions in brain regions including the hippocampus, a central nervous system (CNS) region vital for memory and learning. Epidemiological studies suggest that masticatory deficiency is associated with development of dementia, which is related to spatial memory deficits especially in older animals. The purpose of this paper is to review recent work on the effects of masticatory impairment on cognitive functions both in experimental animals and humans. We show that several mechanisms may be involved in the cognitive deficits associated with masticatory deficiency. The epidemiological data suggest a positive correlation between masticatory deficit and Alzheimer's disease. It may be concluded that chewing has important implications for the mechanisms underlying certain cognitive abilities.
Keywords: Chewing, Cognition, Learning, Memory, Masticatory, Hippocampus.