View Full Version : Bone Hormone Influences Brain Development and Cognition

09-27-13, 04:33 PM
Research from Columbia University Medical Center ( has found a connection between a bone hormone called osteocalcin (Did you even know your bones have hormones?!?) and both the development and the degeneration of the brain.

From the article:

To determine whether osteocalcin did indeed play a role in the brain, Dr. Karsenty and his team studied “osteocalcin-null” mice (mice that have been genetically engineered to not produce any osteocalcin). Using these mice, they were able to show unambiguously that osteocalcin can cross the blood-brain barrier; binds to neurons in the brainstem, midbrain, and hippocampus (which is responsible for learning and memory); promotes the birth of neurons; and increases the synthesis of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and catecholamine. They also found that osteocalcin-null mice had abnormally small hippocampi, a part of the brain involved in memory.

You may not think much about your hippocampus, but let me tell you, you really miss it when it's out to lunch. The study looked at the back and forth relationship between the brain and the bones, and I learned several things I didn't know before. It's an interesting read.