Published on: July 3, 2012
by Huffington Post:
Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio are investigating a potential new drug that could improve learning and memory during aging — thanks to Easter Island?
The drug, called rapamycin, comes from isolated bacterial products in the soil of the Polynesian island, known as the home to the famous moai statues. When given to mice, rapamycin seems to boost cognitive skills in young and old mice.
“We made the young ones learn, and remember what they learned, better than what is normal,” study researcher Veronica Galvan, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the UT Health Science Center, said in a statement. “Among the older mice, the ones fed with a diet including rapamycin actually showed an improvement, negating the normal decline that you see in these functions with age.”
The mice in the Neuroscience study also had fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety when given the rapamycin, researchers found.
Rapamycin — which is named for the Polynesian name for Easter Island, Rapa Nui — is already used for antifungal purposes among transplant patients.
In 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that rapamycin was shown in Naturestudy to help mice live longer.
Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of...
In a new study, University of Nebraska–Lincoln sociologist Marc A. Garcia explored how educational attainment can benefit cognitive health in later life, and whether there are differences in its benefits among minorities. Garcia and his co-authors...
A genetic variation in some people may be associated with cognitive decline that can’t be explained by deposits of two key proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid β and tau, according to a study...
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.