September 2, 2014
Researchers reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer's
Spanish scientists reversed memory loss in mice in the initial stages of Alzheimer's disease by using gene therapy.
The researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience at the Autonomous (UAB) "discovered a cellular mechanism related to the consolidation of memory and developed a gene therapy that reverses memory loss in mice in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease", UAB explained in a press release.
The scientists inserted a gene into the mice’s hippocampus that produces a protein called Crtcl that is inactive in pacients with Alzheimer’s. That protein activates the genes responsible for long-term memory.
"This study opens up new perspectives on therapeutic prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, given that we have demonstrated that a gene therapy which activates the Crtcl protein is effective in preventing the loss of memory in lab mice," researcher Carlos Saura said.
One of the main challenges this study poses -according to the study- is the development of pharmaceutical therapies to activate this protein.
Further tests are needed to make sure the therapy is suitable for humans.
The study is the cover of the US Journal of Neuroscience.