October 20, 2010

FASTER, PLEASE: Experimental Drug Preserves Memory in Rodents.

An experimental drug developed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh reverses age-related memory decline in mice, returning their brains to a more youthful state of cognitive function. The compound is designed to dampen the production of glucocorticoids, stress hormones that are thought to damage the brain’s learning and memory centers over time.

“What’s most surprising is that even short-term inhibition was able to reverse memory loss in old mice,” says Jonathan Seckl, a professor of molecular medicine who was involved in the research. “I don’t think people had realized this was so reversible. It takes [the animals] back to being relatively young.”

The researchers hope to develop equivalent human therapies and are now more extensively studying the safety of a closely related compound in animals. They aim to begin human testing within a year.

Did I say “faster, please?” I believe that I did.

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