As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: March 19, 2016
by Cheri Cheng for Headlines and Global News:
A breakthrough study examining how dementia affects mice suggests that people with Alzheimer’s disease lose access to their memories but not the actual memories. Researchers hope that this finding can one day help scientists develop a cure for dementia.
For this study, the research team headed by Nobel Prize winner Susumu Tonegawa experimented on mice that had been genetically altered to have symptoms that were similar to Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia that affected an estimated 5.3 million Americans in 2015. The researchers were particularly interested in finding a way to get the mice to recall new memories since these types of memories tend to be forgotten within a few days in patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s.
The researchers placed the mice into a box and shocked their feet with an electrical current that was not strong enough to be dangerous. To test their recall, the researchers placed the mice into the same box 24 hours later. The researchers observed that mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms did not exhibit any signs of fear. Mice without Alzheimer’s symptoms, on the other hand, would freeze in fear of being shocked again.
The researchers then attempted to recall the memories that the mice had in regards to the box by stimulating areas of their brain using a method called optogenetics. The researchers used blue light to activate the mice’s engram cells, which are linked to memory retention. They then tested the mice’s recall by placing them in the same box, as well as a different one, and found that the mice acted fearful in both environments, which suggested that not only was their memory recalled, it was also retained.
“Directly activating the cells that we believe are holding the memory gets them to retrieve it,” said lead author Dheeraj Roy, who is a graduate student at MIT. “This suggests that it is indeed an access problem to the information, not that they’re unable to learn or store this memory.”
The researchers hope that their findings could someday apply to human patients.
“As humans and mice tend to have a common principle in terms of memory, our findings suggest that Alzheimer’s disease patients, at least in their early stages, may also keep memories in their brains, which means there may be a possibility of a cure,” Tonegawa said.
The study was published in the journal Nature.
On December 2nd, the first-ever Women’s Brain Health Day, take a stand, and upend the way we view dementia and other brain-aging diseases that disproportionately affect women. Literally. Join us and take part in the...
Many older American adults may inaccurately estimate their chances for developing dementia and do useless things to prevent it, new research suggests. Almost half of adults surveyed believed they were likely to develop dementia. The results suggest...
People do not think about their own brain health and are unsure how to maintain it, according to a recent interview study in the Lifebrain project. A healthy brain is essential for general health and wellbeing, and to prevent...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.